• Models of Peacebuilding
  • Citizen Diplomacy

Citizen Diplomacy

Bhandari, R., & Belyavina, R. (2011, June). Evaluating and measuring the impact of citizen diplomacy: Current status and future directions. Institute of International Education. Retrieved from:

http://www.iie.org/Research-and-Publications/Publications-and-Reports/IIE-Bookstore/Evaluating-Measuring-Impact-of-Citizen-Diplomacy#.V-A-J5MrKRt

This report examines various types of foreign exchange programs, including foreigners in the US and vice versa, and range from grade school to professional settings. Exchange programs of any magnitude and of any duration have shown to positively impact the participants. It can be concluded that intercultural exchanges and communications are vital to citizen diplomacy.

 

Chigas, D. (2003, August). “Track II (citizen) diplomacy.” Beyond Intractability. Retrieved from:

http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/track2-diplomacy

This article by Diana Chigas thoroughly explains the role and importance of unofficial intermediaries and mediators. In highlighting the difference between intractable conflicts and tractable conflicts, we can better understand the purpose of unofficial mediators, especially in their role humanizing conflicting actors. Chigas describes unofficial intermediaries as most successful in breaking barriers to initial contact, but cautions that unofficial actors have their limitations.

 

McDonald, J. W. (1991). Further exploration of track two diplomacy. In  Kriesberg, L. & Thorson, S. J (Eds.), Timing the de-escalation of international conflicts (pp. 201-220). Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. Retrieved from:

http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/example/mcdo3682.htm

Understanding that the majority of armed conflicts today are intra-state conflicts where Track-One Diplomacy can become inviable, the importance of Track-Two Diplomacy become evident. McDonald offers five Tracks of diplomacy each associated with a unique type of actor (Eventually expanded to nine tracks in his more recent publications). McDonald additionally describes the processes for successful completion of said tracks while highlighting that success is developed through collaboration among all Track actors.

 

Nye, J. S. (2010, October 4). The pros and cons of citizen diplomacy.” The New York Times. Retrieved from:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/opinion/05iht-ednye.html?_r=2

An examination of difficulties associated with citizen diplomacy, namely that government actors are reluctant to hand power over to citizen actors. However, citizen diplomacy becomes a much more effective tool in situations where government involvement in limited. Nye highlights countries that do not follow a democratic model of government in order to elaborate on the limitations of citizen diplomacy. It is Nye’s hope that as younger generations come take places of authority in society, governments abandon former policies and better adapt to conflict resolution in order to avoid civil unrest.