COST Action CA17132 - APPLY
European Network for Argumentation and Public Policy Analysis

CA17132 Publications

APPLY Final Report and Guidelines for Designing Public Argumentation

APPLY Final Report

APPLY Guidelines for Designing Public Argumentation

(2023) Special Issue of TOPOI: An International Review of Philosophy on “Norms of Public Argument: A Speech Act Perspective”, Marcin Lewiński, Bianca Cepollaro, Steve Oswald, and Maciej Witek (Eds.)

The aim of this topical collection and the forthcoming special issue is to use the framework of speech act theory to understand the broadly construed normativity of disputes (“argument” in one sense) and reasoning (“argument” in another sense) in the public sphere. We preserve the ambiguity of the natural-language “argument” to capture the broad range of communicative phenomena where normative aspects of discourse are particularly at stake. Indeed, disputes as breakdowns of communication reveal the norms and sanctions governing our linguistic exchanges. We believe that speech act theory, which is enjoying nothing short of a revival today, provides a promising framework for combining insights from philosophy, pragmatics, argumentation theory, and other disciplines studying the normative aspect of public argument.

The focus of this topical collection is on the variety and dynamics of norms governing communicative and argumentative practices. In other words, the articles in this collection examine and catalogue the mechanisms that underlie the enactment, persistence, and evolution of norms as well as the various ways in which they shape our discursive practices. Some contributions study the very nature of such norms and look into the criteria for their correct application in “valuable” speech acts of (practical) argumentation, assertion, or explanation. Others examine normatively “fishy” communicative phenomena—hate speech, duplicity, puffery, dog whistles, insinuations, figleaves, threats, lies, disavowals —to be found in the domain of public argument which result from violating, exploiting, or negotiating discursive norms.

Most articles published in the Special Issue were presented at the workshop “Norms of Public Argument: A Speech Act Perspective” organised at the NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal, and supported by the COST Action European network for argumentation and public policy analysis (CA17132).

More information HERE.

(2022) The Pandemic of Argumentation, Steve Oswald, Marcin Lewiński, Sara Greco, Serena Villata (Eds.)

This open access book addresses communicative aspects of the current COVID-19 pandemic as well as the epidemic of misinformation from the perspective of argumentation theory. Argumentation theory is uniquely placed to understand and account for the challenges of public reason as expressed through argumentative discourse. The book thus focuses on the extent to which the forms, norms and functions of public argumentation have changed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This question is investigated along the three main research lines of the COST Action project CA 17132: European network for Argumentation and Public PoLicY analysis (APPLY): descriptive, normative, and prescriptive.

Download it HERE

WG1 Report on existing datasets

The present report is a state-of-the-art discussion of existing datasets on argumentative discourse and policy making available within APPLY at an initial stage of the project; the collection of datasets upon which this report
is based has been launched in December 2018 and updated several times until April 2019.

Download it HERE

WG2 Position Paper: Goals and functions of public argumentation

Drawing on a variety of disciplines, the paper introduces basic distinctions and charts out options. It is meant to guide reflection on the conceptual basis for the Action’s subsequent research regarding the analysis, evaluation, and design of public argumentation.

Download it HERE

WG3 Report: Basic resources and methods for designing public argumentation

This report reflects in its structure the basic rationale of WG3 approach: it starts by listing some key challenges and prospects for argumentation in public debate, to set the background against which resources and methods for designing public argumentation need to be tested; the rest of the report provides brief but comprehensive reviews of the three key elements required to tackle such challenges – a critical understanding on the notion of “stakeholders”, in-depth mastery of the most promising technologies aimed at supporting public argumentation, with an emphasis on open issues and critical vulnerabilities, and a design perspective on argumentation. The last section summarizes the main findings of this preliminary survey.

Download it HERE



COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks. Our Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation.

COST Action CA17132

Providing and criticising reasons is indispensable to achieve sound public policy that commands the support of both citizens and stakeholders. This need is now widely acknowledged in the recent literature and key EU documents, which highlight the perils of populist discourse and policies.

Action Contacts

Andreia Domingues - Grant Manager [CA 17132]
NOVA - FCSH | Avenida de Berna, 26 C
1069-061 Lisboa - Portugal

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