Performing good diplomatic relations: The case of presidential introductory conversations during credential ceremonies

Roni Berkowitz, Gadi Heimann, Zohar Kampf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we link between two scholarly traditions that share the goal of understanding how people accomplish the achievement of living together: linguistic-politeness and diplomacy. We look at a specific speech event—presidential introductory conversations during credential ceremonies, in which the interlocutors are simultaneously talking on behalf of themselves and the states they represent. On the basis of 23 introductory conversations at Israel's presidential residence. We aim to understand how good relations are cultivated in diplomatic conversations and the resources and strategies hosting presidents and foreign ambassadors employ to establish amicable interpersonal and interstate relations. The infusion of elite discourse, institutional discourse, and initial interactions brought forth in our study a gamut of bonding strategies applied in the process of rapport management between state representatives. The president and ambassadors did their best to avoid sensitive issues and managed the attending audience as a resource for enhancing interpersonal relations, advancing the interaction, and solving problems at both the interstate and interpersonal levels. In the Conclusion we underline the importance of analyzing actual conversations between individuals who simultaneously embody themselves and their states in order to understand how relationships between large social entities are managed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-129
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
StatePublished - Aug 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier B.V.


  • Bonding strategies
  • Diplomacy
  • Elite discourse
  • Good relations
  • Initial interactions
  • International pragmatics


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