- Pragmatic argumentation in law-making debates: instruments for the analysis and evaluation of pragmatic argumentation at the second reading of the British Parliament
- Award date
- 28 September 2012
- Number of pages
- Amsterdam: Sic Sat
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
Having accurate information about the arguments presented for and against a legislative proposal in law-making debates is a precondition for civil society to exercise any influence on the work of parliament while a law is being passed. Among the arguments brought forward in these debates, pragmatic argumentation - argumentation for or against a proposed course of action based on its desirable or undesirable consequences - plays a central role. With a view to contributing to the public accessibility of parliament’s legislative work, this book proposes instruments specifically adapted for the analysis and evaluation of pragmatic argumentation in law-making debates. The instruments are designed for law-making debates as institutionalised in the first substantial stage of the British law-making process, second reading.
Premised on the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation, the author first develops instruments for the analysis and evaluation of pragmatic argumentation based on an analysis of the general properties and basic normative standards relevant to pragmatic argumentation. These general instruments are subsequently contextualised by taking into consideration the institutional constraints regulating the use of pragmatic argumentation in the communicative activity of second reading debates. The pragmatic argumentation used by the Labour government in the second reading debate of the Terrorism Bill (2005-06) is analysed and evaluated to illustrate how the instruments proposed can be applied in practice.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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