Rhetorical bypasses: connecting with the hearts and minds of people on the opponent’s side

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ABSTRACT: In recent years, with the establishment of a complex global media environment, foreign political leaders have been utilizing various rhetorical and media strategies for bypassing domestic national leaders to reach the hearts of the public on the other side. In this paper I discuss this practice and demonstrate three types of rhetorical bypasses that can be positioned on two ends of a continuum. At one end, the foreign actor aims at instilling fear in the heart of his or her audience by issuing threats or warnings that forecast a dark future, while at the other end, he or she aims at warming the hearts of that same public by utilizing various modes of reconciliatory talk, that is, greetings, apologies, or promises of a bright shared future. I conclude by discussing the struggles that rhetorical bypasses evoke.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)149-163
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Multicultural Discourses
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2016


  • Public speech acts
  • apology
  • greetings
  • mediated public diplomacy
  • psychological warfare
  • threat

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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