“Paved with Good Intentions:” Best Practices in the Ethics of Track Two Interventions

In: International Negotiation
Author: Peter Jones1
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  • 1 Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and Ottawa Dialogue, University of Ottawa, 120 rue Université, Rm FSS-6058, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5, Canada
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This article unpacks the development of key ideas and debates which surround the ethical issues of Track Two. It defines what is meant by ‘Track Two’ and discusses how ethics might best be applied in practice to these dialogues. The ethical dimensions of four key issues are explored: accountability; the basis on which third parties feel they are entitled to intervene; the problem of dealing with actors who have committed atrocities; and ethical questions surrounding secrecy or confidentiality which is often required. The article suggests several ways forward in terms of creating a mechanism to enable practitioners to assist each other with the challenges they face. The article takes the view that a ‘hard and fast’ set of ethics may not be appropriate for the field, as each intervention is quite different, but rather that a set of ‘reflective questions’ should be developed to help practitioners confront ethical issues.

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