Techniques of manipulation in political discourse


  • E.C. Berariu Dimitrie Cantemir University of Targu-Mures
  • A. Peterlicean Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca, Romania



political discourse, manipulation techniques, ideologies, social context


Political discourses have always been part of the daily lives of those directly involved in the process of governing, be it on paper, on-air or online. These days, however, they have become part of everybody’s life. The recent overwhelming events such as the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine now, have glued people to the screens, eager for information, reassurance, or guidance. More often than ever, political discourses are spread throughout the media trying to either give comfort or incite people to action. Some discourses provide answers to the questions raised by other discourses, others offer explanations in a desperate attempt to communicate efficiently in what looks like a gapped conversation with various interruptions. Most discourses are accompanied by pictures, either representing the speaker or the topic. The aim of this paper is to analyze such discourses caused by the outbreak of war in Eastern Europe with a focus on pictures and to show how much can be said without actually saying it, and how the perceptions related to culture and stereotypes can be manipulated. The paper starts from the premise that the techniques of manipulation in discourses have always been the same, irrespective of the type of discourse (advertising discourse, medical discourse, political discourse, etc.). However, the political and social context greatly influence the structure and content of a discourse thus reflecting the very beliefs of the people who write or deliver them. In other words, this paper aims to show how cultural and political ideologies are deeply rooted in political discourses, both reflecting and being a reflection of the society that produces them.