Language games: dialogical analysis of INF negotiations

Gavan Duffy, Brian K. Frederking, Seth A. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This essay proposes dialogical analysis as a method of modeling political interactions. The method combines the formal theory of dialogical disputation, a family of theories drawn from linguistic pragmatics, and formal proof procedures. By analyzing models of their explicit and implicit contents in context, the method identifies the argumentative thrust of negotiation dialogues and shows systematically how the parties signal intent and commitment to one another. The paper illustrates the method by applying it to superpower interactions in the 1980s INF negotiations. The analysis indicates that American force deployments did not motivate the Soviet retreat from their early insistence on compensation for European missiles. The change in the Soviet position is better attributed to their strategic reconceptualization of the Cold War insecurity dilemma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-293
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Language games: dialogical analysis of INF negotiations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this