Diplomatic condolences: ideological positioning in the death of Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat was a key figure in the political life of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. As Palestinian president, he was a central player in negotiations over the most contentious issue of the time: Middle East peace. But although his significance is unquestioned, his status is ambiguous: for some he was a freedom fighter, for others a terrorist. It is interesting, therefore, to observe the ways in which different world governments marked the death of Arafat in November 2004, in their official condolence messages. Using the tools of critical discourse analysis (CDA) and systemic functional linguistics (SFL), this article treats the diplomatic condolence message as a recognizable text type that has much to tell us about how governments signal and construct ideological positions and in doing so `enact' the international community.
Discourse and Society
Discourse and Pragmatics