Augoustinos, M., Hastie, B., & Callaghan, P. (2018). Apologising for past wrongs: Emotion-reason rhetoric in political discourses. In L. Smith, M. Wetherall & G. Campbell (Eds). Emotion, Affective Practices and the Past in the Present (pp. 105-123). Routledge.

This chapter examines how a discursive reframing of Australia’s history was accomplished through a national apology offered to Australia’s Indigenous peoples in 2008 by the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for the forced removal of Indigenous children during the twentieth century. It analyses how this was achieved rhetorically by linking emotion to reason and thus appealing to collective emotions that Australians should feel towards the mistreatment of Indigenous people. The chapter shows that how emotion and reason are constructed rhetorically as either linked or contrasting, but are always intricately entangled to produce culturally relevant rhetorical accounts. It demonstrates affective–discursive practices function ideologically to justify and legitimate particular versions of the past, the present and the hoped-for future. Political parties from across the ideological spectrum in western democracies have become adept at presenting their policies and political agendas as consonant with the ‘national interest’ and as embodying prototypical features of a ‘national identity’.