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Strauss, Julia (2021) 'Scripts, Authority, and Legitimacy.' In: Rai, Shirin M., Gluhovic, Milija, Jestrovic, Silvija and Saward, Michael, (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Politics and Performance. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 405-420.

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Although it is widely recognized that performance permeates politics, there is surprisingly little agreement on how politics in performance plays out across different political and cultural environments. Focusing on the script as both written text and mutually constituted social role that attempts to reinforce legitimacy, this chapter develops two typologies. The first considers the script itself as either optimistic or pessimistic and that appeals to either reason or the emotions; the second how the script is imbricated with its prospective target audience(s) and the degree to which it attempts to divide or unite and either is closed or permits room for improvisation. It develops these typologies by comparing and contrasting the political performances of Xi Jinping and his optimistic and unifying “China Dream” in the increasingly authoritarian People’s Republic of China with the divisive, antitechnocratic jeremiad performances of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson in the United States and the United Kingdom. It concludes that in other political contexts the substance of political performance scripts, the ways in which scripts engage audiences, and how they are modified over time are likely to vary, but to do so in patterned ways.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: performance, politics, interdisciplinary
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
ISBN: 9780190863456
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2022 12:25

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