“With Friends and Former Foes”: The Functional Roles of International Collaborative Partners and their Relationships with the United States in Inaugural Addresses of American Presidents since 1949

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Abstract

In their inaugural addresses, newly inaugurated presidents of the United States rhetorically communicate visions of the world and of the nation’s role in it for the first time to domestic and international audiences, and in doing so rhetorically construct and maintain relationships with other nations. This paper finds that in inaugural addresses the United States places itself as leading collaborative efforts, described as concrete actions and events, with like-minded allies. Established allies and friends are treated as supporters and beneficiaries, while peoples of poor or oppressed nations are assumed to share American values. Overtures of collaboration are also made to adversaries, but rhetorical shifts from enemy to friend are slow to follow international transformations. In the early years of the Cold War, international partners were prominent but have lost visibility over time. The end of the Cold War and beginning of the War on Terror have not significantly reversed this trend.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSKY Journal of Linguistics
Volume28
Pages (from-to)225-248
Number of pages24
ISSN1456-8438
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 6121 Languages
  • Discourse Analysis
  • political rhetoric
  • systemic functional lingustics
  • presidential discourse
  • international identity

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