The Art of Rhetorical Traps in Civilian Self-Protection
Forthcoming, Journal of Peacebuilding and Development
Posted: 21 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 16, 2017
Civilian communities that seek to nonviolently protect themselves from armed actors during war usually have limited resources and strategies available to them. One tactic that most if not all communities can use is rhetorical traps. These traps are publicly made claims that leverage the previous ideological and other commitments of armed actors to persuade them to desist from violence. This article analyzes the theoretical underpinnings of rhetorical traps and provides some examples of how they have been deployed by diverse communities around the world. It concludes with policy implications for communities to consider when protecting their populations.
Keywords: Conflict Resolution, Civil Wars, Violence, Civilian Protection, Colombia, Communication, Signaling, Persuasion, Rhetoric, Insurgency, Protest, Cognitive Dissonance
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