Politically speaking at home and abroad: A typology of message gap strategies

Elie Friedman*, Zohar Kampf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


During times of international negotiation, political leaders often play a ‘two-level game’, reflected in disparate message designs aimed at satisfying differing audience expectations. The existence of a two-level game in a globalized media environment results in leaders facing an avoidance dilemma, as presenting distinctly different messages could threaten both credibility and maneuverability. Thus, political leaders employ a series of discursive strategies to reduce message gaps in order to facilitate solidarity at home and an appearance of cooperation abroad. Based on discourse analysis of 368 political speeches in the context of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, we present a typology of message gap strategies used by Israeli officials. The article discusses six gap strategies and concludes by clarifying their role in conflict resolution processes.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)706-724
Number of pages19
JournalDiscourse and Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2014.


  • Avoidance dilemma
  • Israeli–Palestinian conflict
  • globalization
  • mediatization
  • message gaps
  • political face
  • political speeches
  • two-level game


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