In this chapter we present an approach to critical discourse analysis (CDA) and discuss its

relationship to critical social science and the forms of critique associated with it, and then dis-

cuss how the analysis and evaluation of arguments as we have presented it in Chapter 2 can

increase the capacity of CDA to pursue its aim of extending critique to discourse. We shall

do this by returning to an earlier analysis of part of a speech by Tony Blair (Fairclough

2000a), showing how the analysis is strengthened if we build it around the practical argu-

ment which Blair is advancing, asking what aspects of the earlier analysis need to be retained

and how they can be connected to the analysis of practical argumentation. We shall discuss

in more general terms how analysis of practical argumentation fits in with and contributes to

normative and explanatory critique, and we will look at other concepts that CDA works with

(imaginaries, political legitimacy, power) from the viewpoint of a theory of argument.