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  • Author or Editor: Anna Popkova x
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This article examines the local impact of citizen diplomacy through the case study of a volunteer-driven citizen diplomacy organisation Global Ties Kalamazoo (GTKzoo) based in Kalamazoo, Michigan (United States). Drawing on the data from 25 in-depth interviews with GTKzoo volunteers, this study demonstrates that citizen diplomats view citizen diplomacy as more authentic compared to traditional diplomacy. Representation as a key component of citizen diplomacy is also discussed, with GTKzoo volunteers struggling to reconcile their desire to ‘show the good parts of America’ with their understanding that ‘the good parts’ alone are not giving visitors a complete picture. This study also introduces two approaches to assessing the local impact of citizen diplomacy — instrumental and reflexive. The study concludes that the reflexive approach dominates citizen diplomats’ discussions as they focus on learning from the visitors, feeling inspired to be better community members, and seeing their local community through a more nuanced perspective.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
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Summary

While some scholars assert that non-state actors (NSAs) can be considered as public diplomacy agents in their own right, others argue that NSAs’ work only supplements a state’s public diplomacy efforts. Both groups of scholars, however, focus on collaboration between states and NSAs. This article draws attention to the situations in which transnational NSAs challenge their respective states. Using the transnational movement Open Russia as a case study and drawing on Robert Kelley’s conceptualization of the diplomatic capabilities of NSAs as manifesting themselves in such actions as disruption, agenda-setting, mobilizing and gatekeeping, this article explores the power interplay between Open Russia and its domestic and foreign constituencies. By analysing the potential and the limits of Open Russia’s diplomatic capabilities, the article expands the discussion about NSAs’ role in public diplomacy.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy

Summary

At its core, diplomacy is about representation. Including the domestic voice in diplomatic work pushes us to reflect critically on who represents our local communities to international constituents. To what extent is the diversity of local communities reflected in such diplomatic initiatives as, for example, state-supported citizen diplomacy programmes? This article argues for the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work at the local level to the policy goals that citizen diplomacy programmes support. The article draws on the concept of ‘subaltern counterpublics’ to emphasise the importance of DEI efforts at the local level for more inclusive and authentic diplomacy globally. The article also discusses some of the current practices of intentionally incorporating DEI initiatives into citizen diplomacy work among civil society actors.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy