New article on diplomacy, rhetoric, and representation

rhetorica scandinavica

I recently wrote an article in Swedish treating the problem of representation through the shared history of diplomacy and rhetoric. The article is now available in volume 81 of Rhetorica Scandinavica, a Nordic journal in Rhetorical Studies. In the article, I take on the joint problem of representation through an investigation into its different solutions, taking us from Plato’s and Aristotle’s critique of the sophists, through Demosthenes’ and Aeschines’ joint effort to create peace between Athens and Philip II of Macedon, to Rousseau, Kant, and contemporary scholars studying diplomatic rhetoric. In Kant’s idea of perpetual peace and Perelman’s concept of a universal audience, I discover what we might
call modernity’s answer to this ancient problem, the acceptance of what in Hegelian parlance could be called the bad infinity of diplomatic and rhetorical communication. Finally, and by contrast, I look to Lacan’s use of the diplomat as an illustration of the limits of representation, allowing for a discussion concerning the possibility of avoiding the endless dialectic of trial and error.