International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Political Persuasion: Adopting Aristotelian Rhetoric in Public Policy Debate Strategies
Dr. Hsiu-ching Ko

This study explores the content of ethos, pathos, and logos in Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-Jeou’s political discourse on the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). Ma’s discourse during the ECFA Debate was coded to identify statements pertaining to ethos, pathos, and logos. The findings indicate that pathos is the most prevalent rhetorical strategy that Ma adopts during the cross-strait ECFA Debate; whereas, ethos was found to be the least rhetorical strategy used. The results indicate thatfear and anger were the negative elements of pathos used by Ma, while hope and security were the positive elements of pathos used. Results show that among these four components of pathos, appealing to the security of the public was dominant throughout the debate, particularly during the question-and-answer section. This study contributes both to the public policy debate in Taiwan and to the study of political rhetoric. It also provides an empirical and theoretical account of public debateson rhetorical strategies adopted by political leaders, particularly that of a president or a leader of a political party.

Full Text: PDF