Thanks for the response.
Why is language important to diplomacy? Language is one of our most basic instincts. From birth humans communicate, at first in order to survive - to ensure that needs are met. But at an amazing rate communication becomes refined into language, one of the defining characteristics of human beings.
And people can work in teams, their efforts coordinated by negotiated agreements. Penguin Books,16 Language is one of our most basic instincts. Penguin Books,16 As Pinker points out, language is what allows us to build on the work of others, benefiting from their knowledge and collaborating to achieve more than one person can alone.
The processes of diplomacy - communicating, negotiating, reaching and formulating agreements, collecting, creating, transmitting and recording knowledge - all depend on language. Studies of diplomacy usually concentrate on the message rather than the means. However, examination of language use in diplomacy can lead to a better understanding of the way diplomacy functions and why some diplomatic processes are more successful than others.
Through careful and critical attention to various aspects of diplomatic language we can improve our understanding of both the explicit and implicit messages world leaders and other political figures send out, and improve our own ability to communicate in the most effective and appropriate ways.
Expand Speech Acts theory Popular dichotomy views words as distinct from actions. Yet, language can also serve as a form of action. The Speech Act theory shows that not only do words have the power to give rise to actions, but many utterances are a form of action in themselves.
This approach to language as action is significant for diplomacy, since it confirms that diplomatic interventions and communications are not just a means to an end, but may be ends in themselves: It is therefore important to understand what exactly they are doing by means of the language they use.
The Speech Act theory invites us to distinguish between an act of saying something, what one does in saying it, and what one achieves by saying it. It also distinguishes between direct and indirect speech acts.
In the case of indirect speech acts, the intention of the speaker has to be inferred from context. Popular dichotomy views words as distinct from actions. Rhetoric, the art of persuasion, is the practice and study ofthe linguistic resources which help speakers to achieve their objectives.
The study of rhetoric has traditionally been understood under three headings: The traditional headings indicate general dynamics, not discrete categories. Thus logical fallacies, for instance, are usually thought of as a form of faulty logic, but they constitute the staple of propaganda due to their rousing emotional content.
Classical rhetoric is defined as the art of speaking or writing effectively: But whether one considers rhetoric in a positive or negative way, the common factor is that it is speech aiming to persuade. Diplomats can benefit from studying both the positive and negative aspects of rhetoric.
World events are triggered by the words and actions of national leaders and politicians. Diplomats need to pay careful attention to political speech in order to gain clues about the concerns, intentions, and agendas of national leaders and political figures.
At the same time, the work of diplomats is based largely on their ability to use language well - to convince and persuade. Diplomats need to be aware and in control of the power and effect of their words.
As Drazen Pehar, researcher on language and diplomacy, writes: They may choose one or more among many styles of language. This freedom of choice of an instrument of expression is particularly important because plurality of such instruments makes diplomats aware of their own responsibility in verbally expressing their attitudes towards international developments.
DiploProjects, On a comical note, visit An English primer a glossary translating political rhetoric into plain Englishcreated by Thomas Sowell. The glossary offers definitions such as: A riot by people you agree with.
A riot by people you disagree with. While the intent is comic, the glossary makes the point that most of us believe politicians to be hiding behind their rhetoric as a way to avoid direct communication. And most of us have accepted this practice as simply the way politicians work.
While the site focuses on classical rhetoric, many points are equally relevant now.JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways.
JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways.
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