A Crisis of Civility?: Political Discourse and its Discontents (Hardback) book cover

A Crisis of Civility?

Political Discourse and its Discontents

Edited by Robert G. Boatright, Timothy J. Shaffer, Sarah Sobieraj, Dannagal Goldthwaite Young


224 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138484429
pub: 2018-10-15
Available for pre-order

FREE Standard Shipping!


Political discourse in the United States is particularly toxic at this moment in history. This phenomenon is not restricted to elites: In fact, it infused and inflamed the general populace during the 2016 elections. Reasoned public discourse has suffered at the hands of rising polarization and disrespectful disagreement. This book promotes a coherent, civil conversation between divergent contemporary perspectives in political science, communications, history, sociology, and philosophy to reflect on challenges to civil discourse, define civility, and identify its consequences for democratic life in a digital age. In this accessible text, an all-star cast of contributors tills the earth in which future discussion on civility will be planted.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Patron Saint of Civility? Benjamin Franklin and the Problems of Civil Discourse Steven Bullock

PART I Civility in a Polarized Political World

3. Attitudes Toward Civility and Violence by Protesters in the United States Michael Heaney

4. Partisan Attitudes toward Muslim Americans as Evidence of Polarized Worldviews: Implications for Civil Disagreement J. Cherie Strachan

5. A Rhetorical Analysis of Incivility during the 2016 Presidential Campaigns Joseph Zompetti

PART II Civility in Mediated and Online Contexts

6. Gender, Power, and Politics on Twitter Sarah Sobieraj

7. Aggressive Campaign Strategy Frames and the Fostering of Perceptions of Political Incivility Dannagal Goldthwaite Young, Lindsay Hoffman, and Danielle Roth

8. Signaling Incivility: The Role of Speaker, Substance and Tone Emily Sydnor

9. Crises and Civility: Twitter Discourse after School Shootings Deana A. Rohlinger and Cynthia Williams

10. Evaluations of Uncivil Discourse Online: Reactions to Different Types of Incivility Kate Kenski

PART III Civility, Citizenship, and Deliberation

11. Democratic Deliberation as the Implicit Goal of Civility Reforms John Gastil

12. Enabling Civil Discourse: Creating Civic Space and Resources for Democratic Discussion Timothy Shaffer

13. Incivility from a Citizen Perspective Ashley Muddiman

14. Partisanship, Polarization and Incivility: A Conceptual Guide for Research Anthony Laden

CONCLUSION: Reflections

15. TITLE TO COME Deborah Mower

16. TITLE TO COME Molly Flynn

About the Editors

Robert G. Boatright is Professor of Political Science at Clark University and the Director of Research at the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) at the University of Arizona.

Timothy J. Shaffer is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Kansas State University and Principal Research Specialist for the National Institute for Civil Discourse.

Sarah Sobieraj is Associate Professor of Sociology at Tufts University and Director of the Digital Sexism Project.

Dannagal Goldthwaite Young is Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Delaware.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: