Character Assassination: The Historical Perspective [Part 2]

By Martijn Icks In my previous blog, I argued for the importance of historical perspectives on character assassination. However, historical research also comes with its own challenges and limitations. Let’s have a look at some of these. Perhaps the most obvious challenge is the danger of anachronism: we should be very careful not to assume... Continue Reading →

Fiction to Reality in Ukraine’s Election Standoff

By Alexander Naumov Remember the slogan “Underwood 2016” when we wondered if Frank from House of Cards could get things done in Washington? Ukrainians are deciding a similar question. If you have not been following the presidential election in Ukraine, now is a good time to start: the first round of votes on March 31... Continue Reading →

Can Civil Debate Save Us?

As a former competitive debater and current professor of argumentation theories, I get a lot of questions about what civil debate entails. Moreover, as a scholar of character assassination, I continually confront people who say things like “well if we all just practiced civil debate, our country [government/university] would run smoothly.” One of the things... Continue Reading →

How Navalny Torpedoes Russian Officials

Photo: “Bribe” over Oleg Deripaska embracing Sergei Prikhodko, Titanic-style By Alexander Naumov “Hi, it’s Navalny.” This is how Russia’s most popular oppositionist starts his YouTube video blogs before grilling his country’s elite with meticulous accusations of corruption. The 42-year old activist exploits open-source methodology to expose secret wealth, cronyism, bribery, and other indiscretions by Russian... Continue Reading →

“I Just Don’t Like Her”

Or: We Can dance if we want to. I’ve written before about the double-bind facing female political candidates, which is well-established in the rhetorical and political science scholarship. In the United States, leaders are expected to be decisive, rational, and independent, traits stereotypically associated with men. When women would-be leaders enact these traits, they are... Continue Reading →

CA trends to follow in 2019

By Sergei A. Samoilenko In this blog post, I continue the tradition of observing cultural tendencies relevant to the study of CA and reputation management. Last year, the world witnessed a major cultural shift towards new values created by social movements, technological progress, and the populist political order.  In 2019, American society will continue to be... Continue Reading →

Outing Eulenburg: A German Scandal

By Martijn Icks “Outing” politicians and other public figures as gay against their wishes is a long-established practice in modern journalism. Some reporters regard it as just another scoop when they can reveal a celebrity’s hidden sexual preference or gender identity. Others have ideological motives. They may want to advance the gay cause, or expose... Continue Reading →

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