“Flattery helps”: Relational practices in statecraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper provides an explanation for how coworkers manage to cultivate close relationships in an extremely competitive workplace. Our case study is the workplace of statespersons, considered an impersonal, rule-governed, and interest-motivated social environment, and as such, provides indications for how counterparts overcome alienation and suspicion in developing trustful relations. Interviews with twenty-one senior Israeli officials concerning mundane professional practices they employed during their service reveal a gamut of relational practices implemented in various formal and informal events in order to initiate, maintain, and strengthen close personal relationship with their foreign counterparts. A competent performance of these practices constitutes meaningful relationships, allowing statespersons to overcome the relational challenges posed by the impersonal diplomatic workplace.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)22-32
Number of pages11
JournalLanguage and Communication
StatePublished - 2021


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