This paper is aimed to provide an overview of the current state of affairs of argumentation research from a pragma-dialectical perspective. It is explained which are the difficulties in the study of argumentative discourse and what research components are to be included in an argumentation theory that seeks to be fully comprehensive. The development of the pragma-dialectical ideal model of critical discussion is explained and the pragma-dialectical conception of fallacies is elaborated on and compared with other approaches. It is argued that fallacious argumentative moves are essentially derailments of ‘strategic manoeuvring', which is the balancing act performed by a discussant between making argumentative moves that are at the same time rhetorically effective and dialectically reasonable. Finally, the argument from authority is discussed as an example. When is its usage sound and when can its strategic exploitation be said to derail, resulting in the fallacy of the argumentum ad verecundiam?