Definitions of strategic political communication

Working Paper, NUPI

Political communication comes in various forms. The first part of this paper presents some variants of political communication, and provides a set of definitions of such communication. A centre of gravity is along the borderline and overlap between rhetoric and propaganda. It is argued here that rhetoric unlike propaganda has a potential for deliberation. Propaganda is inherently hostile towards debate and discussion. This reluctance towards debate and discussion has at times been evident as regards the Bush administration’s war on terrorism. The second part of the article deals with propaganda from the Bush administration aimed at quelling debate. All the principals from the first George W. Bush administration (2001-2005) took part in this strategy. Most of the material presented here is explained in more detail in Anders G. Romarheim (2005). “Crossfire of Fear: Propaganda in the US War on Terrorism” Hovedoppgave i Statsvitenskap, ISV, UIO.