Zohar Kampf, Lee Aldar, Roni Danziger, Mia Schreiber
May 1, 2019
This paper proposes a research agenda for studying the building blocks of amicable communication and their role in fostering sociability between states. Against the backdrop of linguistic-pragmatic, international relations, and communication theories, it first theorizes the state as a communicating actor in social interactions and conceptualizes amicable actions and their potential to advance relations in interstate communication. On the basis of 2,180 amicable statements performed by a variety of international actors in a range of communicative contexts, a classification according to variations, intended goals, and prevalence of amicable actions is suggested. The findings show a preference to perform interstate communication through solidarity-oriented and expressive actions. Asserting friendship and thanking were found to be the most popular actions, frequently utilized by international actors in a range of ceremonial contexts. Paying respect and expressions of honor were found to be the most frequent strategy for showing one’s deference to the other’s sovereignty and autonomy. In the conclusions, we argue for the importance of studying the pragmatics of interstate communication and point to factors that need to be confronted in the future in order to answer the overarching question: Under what conditions do amicable actions achieve their ends?