A Functional Analysis of French and South Korean Political Leaders

Y Recommended Citation Choi, W Benoit, Dailey, Hinck, Hinck, Hellweg, Pfau, Brydon
2009 Debates. Speaker & Gavel   unpublished
This study reports two replications of research employing the Functional Theory of Political Campaign Discourse, analyzing political leaders' debates from one European and one Asian country. French political debates from 1988 and 1995 and South Korean debates from 1997 and 2002 were content analyzed using the Functional Theory of Political Campaign Discourse. Acclaims were the most common function, followed by attacks and then defenses, in both French and South Korean debates. Policy was
more » ... . Policy was discussed more often than character in French and South Korean debates. In France, but not in South Korea, incumbent party candidates acclaimed significantly more and attacked less than challengers. Similarly, in France, but not South Korea, incumbents used past deeds significantly more often to acclaim-and less to attack-than challengers. Finally, general goals and ideals were used more as the basis for acclaims than attacks in French and South Korean debates. Implications of these results are discussed. Introduction Most research on political debates has focused on American presidential debates (books on presidential debates include Benoit et al.