International/Interdisciplinary Discourse Analysis Seminars

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THE DISCURSIVE CONSTRUCTION OF EUROPEAN IDENTITIES

Ruth Wodak
Lancaster University

Date: Friday, May 4, 2007
Time: 12:30-2PM
Location: TBA

STEALING SOVEREIGNTY: ON ABJECT TRANSNATIONAL CRIMINALS IN WORLD POLITICAL ORDER

J.B. Mattern
Lehigh University

Date: Monday, April 23rd, 2007
Time: 12:30-2PM
Location: SOS B-40

Why have transnational illicit actors become increasingly politicized in the post-cold war era? Terrorists, insurgents, gangs and the like have long forged connections with their counterparts around the world to facilitate financial gain. More recently, however, these transnational networks have also become transnational political movements that strive to give global reach to a shared political goal. This paper proposes one way to understand this trend and its implications. Focusing on transnational crime organizations (TCOs), which are presumed to be simple illicit economic actors, Mattern argues that we should expect them to become increasingly politicized. Combining insights from social theories of practice with those from theories about abjection and subjectivity, and drawing on over 1500 hours of wiretapped conversations among key members of the Colombian-Mexican cocaine trafficking TCO, she argues that not only are some TCOs' economic crimes already motivated by political ends but that the conditions are ripe for others to become so as well. What is more, since the political end pursued by TCOs is independence from the authority and disciplinary powers of international society then insofar as they are successful TCOs will effectively 'steal' sovereignty, and so authority, away from the state-centric world political order.'

ARGUMENTATION, DISSENSUS AND DEMOCRATIZATION

J. Anthony Blair
University of Windsor

Date: Thursday, April 12, 2007
Time: 12:30-2:00
Location: SOS Room B-40

The very concept of argumentation implies that it has at best a limited, ancillary role to play in the face of dissensus. Argumentation can resolve differences of opinion only under limited conditions. Participation in argumentation is rational only under conditions of consensus and good faith. At the same time, argumentation is necessary for democracy. The conditions for the existence of fairly skilled and democracy-invigorating argumentation are not natural, but require development and sustenance. Just from what we know about argumentation, plus known conditions there, democratization in Afghanistan and Iraq is a distant prospect.

QUESTIONS, SUGGESTIONS, AND REQUESTS FOR CONFIRMATION IN DECISION-MAKING DIALOGUES

Jerry R. Hobbs
Information Sciences Institute - USC

Date: Thursday, March 9th, 2006
Time: 5-6:30 p.m
Location: GFS 331

An examination of the use of questions in data we collected on three-person decision-making meetings shows that the question form is use extensively for requests for information, requests for confirmation or disconfirmation, and suggestions. But the dividing line between these three categories is a very fuzzy one, indicating that a mere classification of questions may not be very illuminating. For example, the utterance "Do you want to do that, Charlie?" could be any one of the three, depending on very subtle factors, including intonation, what was said immediately before, who said it, and the relative power of the participants. I will talk about how one can use inference and access to contextual information, including the dynamics of the interaction, to determine the ways in which such utterances fit into and modify the conversational record and collaborative plan that the participants are evolving as they interact. The three categories can then be seen as limiting cases in this more general account.







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