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Mots. Les langages du politique, n°123/2020

Mots. Les langages du politique, n°123/2020

De la racine à l'extrémisme. Discours des radicalités politiques et sociales

Edited by Valérie Bonnet, Béatrice Fracchiolla, Lilian Mathieu

Mots. Les langages du politique

Mots. Les langages du politique n°123/2020
From the root to extremism. Political and social radicality in speech

This special issue aims to cover multiple radicalities, as radicality cannot be defined without consideration of its plural (forms). From the radicaux, those early French Republicans who favoured democratic and secularist reforms, to so-called contemporary "radical" doctrines (when they continue to their ultimate consequences), the word's lexical field refers to a variety of elements which enable us to track its evolution. This double affiliation signifies both a return to origins (the notion of root) and its opposite: an extreme transformation with major consequences. Through three case studies, this issue shows an ambivalent relationship to radicality. It focuses on communication or positioning strategies which determine displays of radicality: polemicity, the reappropriation of the stigma induced by it or, conversely, the toning down of speech so to avoid legal sanctions, or even a reference to origins allowing oneself to reappropriate some seemingly conflicting thinking. More generally, the question here is to determine what constitutes radical discourse and how the discourse of political radicality finds expression without it necessarily taking the form of hate speech.