Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 April 2020
This chapter explores the linguistic dynamics of war and peace. It does so in order to establish a theoretical framework to facilitate the book’s subsequent analysis of Anglosphere wars of position – policy debates concerning military intervention and its avoidance. First, the chapter considers the nature and relationship of language, rhetoric, narrative and discourse, exploring the ways in which meaning production can become regulated. Second, the chapter develops a three-part understanding of resonance, bringing together literatures on electoral strategy, affect and assemblages, with more familiar notions of appeals to or interpellations of identity. Third, the chapter develops a three-part understanding of representational force, combining insights on rhetorical entrapment, rhetorical balancing and rhetorical coercion. Fourth, the chapter considers how meaning production can become hegemonic as dominant discourses win out within a discursive war of position.