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This article analyzes the intricate dynamics between international mediation and the quest for recognition in protracted conflict. The overarching aim is two-fold: to analyze how the struggle for recognition relates to protracted conflict, and why, when and in what ways recognition poses a barrier to efficient peace diplomacy and mediation. The article explores how preferences and interests are infused with identity politics and claims for recognition. It advances three inter-related dimensions of recognition: ontological security, dignity and identity. The conceptual discussion utilizes empirical illustrations from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Three concluding remarks are made. First, international mediation may be accepted by negotiating parties to achieve international recognition rather than to reach an agreement. Second, due to the problem of recognition the notion of “ending conflict” can backfire in the mediation process. Third, mediators should focus on mutual, but thin recognition towards greater acknowledgement of the untenable and vulnerable positions the parties hold in conflict.

In: International Negotiation

Summary

This article focuses on the quest for digitalisation in peace mediation and to the extent to which digital disruption is reshaping its practices. While digitalisation in the wider field of diplomacy has seen dramatic changes in its practices, peace mediation is a ‘latecomer’. The article explores the constitutive effects on specific norms and practices of peace mediation and identifies opportunities as well as the restraining and even counterproductive effects of digitalisation. Digital technologies, tools and social media platforms are mapped to assess their roles and impact on key practices and to critically analyse the digitalisation of peace mediation. Moreover, a content analysis of international strategic policy documents and central frameworks relevant for international peacebuilding operations is conducted, which shows that digitalisation has taken place gradually and cautiously. Since there are few theoretical and empirical studies on the digitalisation of peace mediation, the article concludes by suggesting three directions to be taken in future research.

Open Access
In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy

Summary

This article introduces the special issue on digital disruption in diplomacy. We propose a new research agenda, advancing novel conceptualisations and empirical insights into the hybrid nature of contemporary diplomatic practices in a broad range of areas such as peace-making, inter-state signalling, domestic politics, digital communication, public diplomacy and popular culture. Emphasising the major impact of new technologies and the convergence of offline and online diplomatic space, we address the transformative influence at both the micro level of individual actors and the macro level of diplomatic processes and structures. By taking stock of the existing digital diplomacy literature and exploring emerging digital technologies, diplomatic signalling and digital disinformation, we show how new research on digital disruption in diplomacy may be advanced by focusing on agency-structure, method and data collection. Finally, we provide an overview of contributions that collectively propel the development of a new explorative research agenda on digital disruption in diplomacy.

Free access
In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy

Sweden’s feminist foreign policy is founded on the broad idea that gender equality is central to security. This article focuses on how the politicisation of this gender-security nexus is discursively articulated and practiced in the case of feminist foreign policy. The problematic is unpacked by analysing the politicisation of the women, peace and security agenda and global gender mainstreaming. To empirically illustrate the gender-security nexus more specifically, we analyse how these politicisation processes are reflected in Sweden’s support for global peace diplomacy and gender protection. The article concludes by offering three final remarks. First, Sweden’s feminist foreign policy is an expression of several, at times competing, forms of political rationality. Second, while the fluctuation between de-politicisation and re-politicisation of security may seem productive in terms of policy outcome it can also create contradictions and ambiguities in regards to feminist foreign policy practice. One such outcome is the tendency to conflate gender and women across a number of de-politicised policy initiatives launched by the Swedish government. Third, the re-politicisation and contestation of the gender-security nexus is likely to increase in the coming decades because of shifting global power configurations in the global world order.

Open Access
In: European Review of International Studies

Abstract

Peace mediation is a professional practice that is increasingly reliant on thematic technical experts, including gender experts. The strategy of including gender expertise in peace mediation reflects the Women, Peace and Security agenda and the call to include dedicated gender expertise in all peacemaking efforts. Based on interviews with peace mediation practitioners, the article analyzes the role of gender experts in peace mediation. We argue that there is a tension between the art of mediation and the art of gender expertise that reflects the gendered power dynamics of peace mediation. We conclude that the strategy of appointing gender experts to peace mediation teams will not “dismantle the master’s house.” However, we acknowledge that without a gender expert very little will be accomplished on this issue. For peace mediation to address the gendered foundations of conflict we argue for the development of an alternate feminist peace mediation practice.

Open Access
In: International Negotiation