2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

"The Disappearance of the Public Sphere ": Applying the Theory of Argument Spheres to the Debate Over U.S. Aid to Israel
Matthew S. Bartlett
Dr. Jay W. Self, Faculty Mentor

The democratic form of government exercised in the United States is largely based on and, in essence, requires active participation by every citizen. In theory, the success of this form of government is based on active participation. However, styles of argument presentation and decision making over nearly two centuries have led to a government ruled by the expert as opposed to a government ruled by the people. Contemporary policy-making is no longer based on public opinion or a debate held in public forums, but is based on the opinions and findings of the experts in a given field. This research seeks to explore, through applying the theory of argumentation spheres (personal, public, and technical) to a contemporary controversial issue (U.S. aid to Israel), the impact contemporary trends in argument presentation have on the overall success of the government in promoting active participation by all citizens in decision-making regarding government policies.

Keywords: Argumentation Spheres, U.S. aid to Israel, Argumentation

Topic(s):Communication

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 56-2
Location: VH 1010
Time: 3:00

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