Process Peace: A New Evaluation Framework for Track ii Diplomacy

In: International Negotiation
Nathaniel Allen Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies 28 18th St SE, Washington, dc 20003 USA

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Travis Sharp Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Robertson Hall 026, Princeton University, Princeton, nj 08544 USA

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Track ii diplomacy, or unofficial interactions designed to produce ideas, build relationships, and change perceptions, has become a supplement – and sometimes an alternative – to traditional diplomacy. Yet practitioners and scholars still debate its effectiveness. Practitioners claim that Track ii diplomacy promotes peace but insist that its contributions are intangible and therefore difficult to assess empirically. Meanwhile, scholars maintain that only rigorous empirical evaluation can demonstrate the effect of Track ii diplomacy on conflict outcomes. This study seeks to break this impasse in two ways. First, it provides a comprehensive explanation of why Track ii practitioners object to evaluation, drawing on personal interviews conducted in eight countries. Second, it proposes a new evaluation framework, which we call the “Process Peace” approach, which better balances practitioner and scholarly equities. Our framework should appeal to readers interested in bridging the gap between the practice and theory of Track ii diplomacy.

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