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BMET 23A02 - POLITICAL WORKSHOP: How an issue becomes political and how to handle it (The)

Type d'enseignement : Workshop

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


Requirements!! English C1 and +. Maîtrise passive du français. Strong interest for the political debate

Course Description

Within the new curriculum of Political Humanities, the “Political Workshop” has three goals and means: 1/ Illustrating the various issues at stake in the political process with classical examples, videos of actual speeches as well as famous political fictions (Yes Minister, House of Cards…). How does one put an issue on the political agenda? How does one handle it? How to react to an emergency situation? Etc. 2/ Providing the students with an appropriate “toolbox” in order to understand and use the various effects of political rhetoric, ranging from the structure of the speech to the stylistic devices and the most adequate strategy of argumentation and counter-argumentation in a time of fake news and post-truth politics. 3/ Organizing debates and show-cases with the students on major issues to improve their art of argumentation. This very interactive course will involve the students, who will present show-cases of the following types (combination possible): 1/ A political speech 2/ A political issue 3/ A political (crisis) situation


DE VOOGD, Christophe (Enseignant-chercheur, Sciences Po)

Pedagogical format

1+2+3. The golden rules of the political speech 4+5+6: The golden rules of argumentation 7+8+9: The issue of War and Peace from Thucydides to George W. Bush 10+11: Post-truth and Fake News: how to handle them? 12. Final exercise (1.30) and conclusion

Course validation

In class participation: 10% Oral presentation/debate: 40% Final exam : 50%

Required reading

  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War. (web)
  • Winston Churchill, in particular the war and post-war speeches and Never Give In ! The Best of Winston Churchill's Speeches, 2004.
  • Barack Obama, in particular speeches in Philadelphia, Berlin, Cairo, the “victory speech” of Chicago 2008 and the various speeches at the White House correspondents dinners)
  • NB : A play based on the power of political speech : Julius Cesar by Shakespeare

Additional required reading

  • Anderson, Chris, TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking: London, Brealey, 2017
  • Gallo, Carmine, Talk Like Ted: the 9 Public Speaking Secrets: New York, St Martin's Press 2014
  • Bijou-Duval, Delhay Cyril, Tous orateurs, Paris, Eyrolles, 2011