POLITICAL DISCOURSE OF IMRAN KHAN SPEECHES IN COVID-19: PERSUASIVE STRATEGIES

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Sidra Mahmood

Abstract

COVID-19 pandemic still lurks among us for nearly a year now. Many countries have announced lockdowns and encouraged to maintain the social distancing to cease the spread of the disease. Announcements and speeches by the heads and representatives of governments are key to persuade people to obey the rules through minimizing travels, interactions and staying at home. However, some announcements have caused confusion and distress to people at the same time. Past studies related to political speeches have mainly focused on inauguration, presidential campaign, and legislative debates. Therefore, current study at hand aims to investigate the persuasive strategies employed by Imran Khan as Pakistan’s prime minister in his COVID-19 speeches. It further explores that what types of persuasive strategies used, how these were used and whether the COVID-19 speeches were successful in achieving the required control over spread of virus among the people in the country. It is qualitative study which further focuses on descriptive and thematically analyses based on Wodak (2005) discursive strategies and Aristotle’s three forms of rhetoric. Speeches and statements of Imran Khan were taken from two national newspapers of Pakistan; Dawn and The News, YouTube and Official Twitter account at the first and second stage of COVID-19. The findings encourage to contribute in the field of national political discourse in social practices and persuasive discourse in leadership specially during a pandemic of an infectious disease.

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