Polylateralism: Diplomacy's Third Dimension by Geoffrey Wiseman

Topics: Civil society, Non-state actor, Diplomacy Pages: 9 (2702 words) Published: March 3, 2012
Geoffrey Wiseman - “Polylateralism: Diplomacy’s Third Dimension” - two basis forms of diplomacy that have evolved over the years: bilateral (conduct of relations between two states) and multilateral (conduct of relations between three or more states at permanent or ad hoc international conferences - ague that polylateralism constitutes diplomacy’s third dimension (conduct of relations between official entities and at least one unofficial nonstate entity) - define state actors as 192 member states of UN

- definitions from FLorini and Price of transnational actors don’t classify “bad” nonstate actors…keck and sikkink definition doesn’t realize that NGOS are typically divided into two types (advocacy and service) - transnational connotes interaction, wheareas polylateral diplomacy has advantage of connoting purposive diplomatc interactions and is thus extention of bilateral and multilateral - rise of global civil society after cold war with 1998 ottawa treaty banning anti-personnel land mines - during the 1990s, rise in second track diplomacy (methods of diplomacy outside formal governmental system and virtual diplomacy (process of direct global and transnational communication and bargaining between states etc through new technologies) - use 6 hypothesis to test robustness of the polylateralism concept - 1) state capacity for diplomatic innovation is generally underestimated…understestimated state resilience and overestimated transnational civil society actors flexibility and innovation…problem is zero-sum thinking because state does not need to go into decline for transnational civil society actors to play a stronger global role…the goal should be to promote a democratic state environment in which both state and trasnational civil society actors flourish - 2) small and middle-sized state diplomatic institutions are more likely to innovate and cooperate with transnational civil society actors…middle power polylateralism hasn’t quite lived up to the promise implied in the middle power literature in recent years…state size may be less of a factor in explaining a disposition toward transnationalism than is the political disposition of the government in power - 3) democracies are more likely than semi-democracies and non-democracies to innovate polylaterally…as countries move toward democracy they are more likely to engage in polylateral diplomacy (ex: mexico and turkey) - 4) states will welcome transnational civil society actors more in low politics than in high politics…low politics = human rights while high politics = national security…not true there is evidence that transnational civil society actors are injecting their way into some aspects of high politics such as nuclear non-proliferation…work more closely with UN and EU…hypothesis that high politics polylateralism is generally resisted by governments Is historically true but by o means absolute setback in 9/11 5) state diplomats are more likely to engage wit ngos involved in long-term policy influence (cooperative model) than with those pursuing highly politicized shot term campaigns or protests (conflict model)….true…spectrum of cooperation to confrontation 6) state responsiveness to transnational civil society actors will vary significantly with decision phase…true the spectrum is issue framing/agenda setting/issue mobilization/negotiation/final implementation - evidence is mixed but even if polylateral diplomacy not fully conceptualized…don’t be too quick to say there is global solidarism but remain optimistic Ahmed and Potter – “ NGOs in International Politics” (professor at northern Kentucky university and professor at University of Michigan) - Oxfam: during WWII Greece occupied by German army…professors from Oxford university created Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (OxFam)…establish relief facilities in wake of natural disasters an civil wars - Yunus, professor at University of Chittagong founded Grameen Bank…huge gap between mainstream economic...
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