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Ronald Walter Greene

Conviction

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Managed Convictions: Debate And The Limits Of Electoral Politics, Ronald Walter Greene, Darrin Hicks Feb 2015

Managed Convictions: Debate And The Limits Of Electoral Politics, Ronald Walter Greene, Darrin Hicks

Ronald Walter Greene

In response to Kathleen Hall Jamieson’s proposed agenda for future Presidential debate research, we recall the troubled relation between debate and conviction, which has fueled disciplinary and public controversy throughout the last century. Following a brief genealogy of three such controversies, we describe four models of debate as a cultural technology for managing the economy of moral conviction: debate as critical deliberation, debate as civic virtue, debate as social justice, and debate as game. We claim that reading Jamieson’s proposal in light of these technologies reveals a potentially disturbing fault line: if we fail to distance the aims ...