Skip to main content
School of Business and Management

Inaugural Lecture - The Abuse of Rhetoric - Nicholas O’Shaughnessy Professor of Communication

Nicholas is Professor of Communication at Queen Mary University of London. Previously he was Professor at the Universities of Brunel, where he was Director of the Centre for Research in Consumer and Social Marketing, and of Keele, and is a Quondam Fellow of Hughes Hall Cambridge, having been previously University Lecturer in Marketing 1989-2000.

news image

He has degrees from London, Oxford, Columbia and Cambridge Universities. He is the author or co-author or editor of eight books, including The Phenomenon of Political Marketing (Macmillan), and Propaganda and Politics: Weapons of Mass Seduction (Manchester; Michigan). He has published extensively in marketing journals and is on various editorial boards, and is a Senior Editor of the Journal of Political Marketing.

The main thrust of Nicholas O'Shaughnessy's recent work has been to evolve a more theoretically rigorous foundation for the field of political marketing (having charted its original parameters). This has also precipitated a general interest in what he sees as the renaissance of propaganda- the relation is after all that of set to subset- and this is explored in 'Politics and Propaganda, Weapons of Mass Seduction'. This seeks to contribute to the evolution of a significantly under -subscribed field of research and to rejuvenate the word 'propaganda' in academic discourse. The scale and significance of this theme and the information collected has led to two further book projects, Propaganda and Culture and The Selling of Hitler. But Nicholas's work on political marketing led also to a more general curiosity about the social impact and significance of marketing, as articulated in such published studies as The Nation as a Brand, or Marketing, The Consumer Society and Hedonism. Alongside this, prompted in part by his recognition of the salience of emotional appeals in American political advertising, developed an interest that fed into the work of John O'Shaughnessy and is embodied in the books they have written together, The Marketing Power Of Emotion (Oxford University Press 2003) and Persuasion In Advertising (Routledge 2003). 

Tony, George and Adolf's fighting talk 11 March 2010
By Matthew Reisz

"Scholar addresses rhetoric's deadly role in turning 'jaw-jaw' into 'war-war'. Matthew Reisz reports"
A recording of Professor O’Shaughnessy's Inaugural Lecture is available here