Introduction: Politics as a communicative project

By: Gregory Paschalidis


Volume: 06
Issue: 02:2020
ISSN: 2459-2943
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2020.0018
Pages: 5-9
Lic.: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0



In the past few years, there has been a noticeable surge in semiotic engagement with politics. One is tempted to associate it with Laurent Binet’s international best-seller The seventh function of language (2017) that offers a satirical yet critically reflexive view of the 1970s linguistic turn and its luminaries. The novel’s detective-cum-conspiracy story revolves around the different political sides’ bloody scramble to procure a presumably secret semiotic formula for making political language irresistibly persuasive. It would be more accurate, though, to suggest that, just as Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose (1980) – the most successful hitherto merging of semiotic theory and fiction– was an oblique contribution to the linguistic turn’s emphasis on the power of language, Binet’s novel offers an equally poignant commentary on the ‘magic words’ of modern-day populism.


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