Argumentation in Prime Minister’s Question Time: Accusation of inconsistency in response to criticism

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


When political actors respond to criticism by pointing at an inconsistency in the critic’s position, a tricky political practice emerges. Turning the criticism back to the critic can be a constructive move that restores coherence, but it may also be a disruptive move that silences the critical voice and obstructs accountability. What distinguishes constructive cases from disruptive ones? This is the question this book sets out to answer.

The question is addressed by adopting an argumentative perspective. Argumentation in Prime Minister’s Question Time focuses on the turnabout employed by the British Prime Minister in response to the Leader of the Opposition. The turnabout is characterised as a particular way of strategic manoeuvring. The manoeuvring is analysed and evaluated by combining pragmatic, dialectical and rhetorical insights with considerations from the realm of politics. The outcome is an account of the turnabout’s strategic functions and an assessment guide for evaluating its reasonableness.

The book will be of interest to advanced students and researchers of argumentation, discourse analysis, communication and rhetoric.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages162
VolumeAiC 15
ISBN (Electronic)9789027263278
ISBN (Print)9789027201744
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2018

Publication series

NameArgumentation in Context
PublisherJohn Benjamins


  • Dialogue studies
  • Pragmatics
  • Communication Studies
  • Discourse studies


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