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Recasting the Role of Citizens in Diplomacy and Foreign Policy: Preliminary Insights and a New Research Agenda

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
Authors:
Anna Geis Helmut Schmidt University/University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg Hamburg Germany

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Christian Opitz Helmut Schmidt University/University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg Hamburg Germany

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3129-1739
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Hanna Pfeifer Goethe University Frankfurt/Peace Research Institute Frankfurt Frankfurt Germany

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1631-128X
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Summary

Over the last decade, relations between the state and its citizens have changed in the fields of diplomacy and, more generally, foreign policy in some Western democracies. Both sides have begun to transform their roles through novel formats of citizen dialogue and participation. The full breadth and depth of these phenomena remain understudied, despite the fact that they constitute an important catalyst of the apparent ‘societisation’, or even further democratisation, of diplomacy. Based on our analyses of participatory formats in German diplomacy, we offer insights into the transformative potential of this development and discuss to what extent it simultaneously perpetuates unequal power relations. In order to further scrutinise these preliminary hypotheses on how the complex relationship between state diplomacy and domestic society is currently changing, we propose a new research agenda on citizen participation in foreign policy.

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