"To thine own self be true": The perceived meanings and functions of political consistency

Elie Friedman*, Zohar Kampf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Being perceived as consistent is a crucial concern for political actors' in their efforts to mobilize public opinion. This study comprises an analysis of the self-reflexive performance of consistency by Israeli politicians, focusing on the definitions and types of 'consistency' in political talk and their consequences. Through an analysis of 194 meta-discursive statements between 2006 and 2017, we illustrate that consistency constitutes a spatiotemporal coordination among cognitions, actions (words and deeds), and the external world, while also being viewed as potentially transforming political reality. Perceived as a sought-after value indicative of truth-telling, determination, and clarity, political actors view consistency as an essential character trait, associated with ideological fortitude, and a basis for practical policy realization.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)89-113
Number of pages25
JournalLanguage in Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Cambridge University Press.


  • Consistency
  • ideology
  • meta-discourse
  • political discourse


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