Americas’ conviction: arguing democracy in the affective episteme

Darrin Hicks, Ronald Walter Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We nominate conviction as a shared research problematic for argumentation scholarship in the Americas. Conviction has long been presumed as a constitutive feature of argumentation theory. Yet, important questions pertaining to the nature of conviction, how convictions are acquired, and conviction’s role in democratic governance have not received sustained attention. Using US President Joseph Biden’s address at the 2022 Summit of the Americas as a touchstone, we identify four distinct modalities of conviction–juridical, propositional, identitarian, and affective–which advocates articulate to advance strategic goals. Given the affective modality has received less attention from argumentation theorists, and the ever-increasing role affect plays in contemporary politics, we focus on explicating the affective modality and how it influences democratic governance and political activism in the Americas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-301
Number of pages12
JournalArgumentation and Advocacy
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Forensic Association.


  • affect
  • argumentation
  • Conviction
  • horizontalism
  • politics


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