Clingendael have just put out three discussion papers that will be of interest.
Engaging the Arab World through Social Diplomacy
Rianne van Doeveren
As the winds of change sweep through the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Western governments need to reconsider their public diplomacy strategies in order to jump through this window of opportunity and improve their relationships with the people, not just with governing elites and their associates.
This Clingendael Paper aims to contribute to this goal by addressing the challenges and opportunities for Western countries in the light of current fundamental shifts. For public diplomacy to be legitimate and effective, the paper argues, it has to serve a broader purpose than narrow national interests. This has become most apparent in the Arab world, where the West needs public diplomacy most but where it finds it hardest to pursue. Meanwhile, new actors, most notably from civil society, have emerged on the scene. They have proven much more effective in fostering relationships, containing crises and improving mutual understanding in a process that can be called social diplomacy. This paper takes the first steps in combining public and social diplomacy approaches in a customized approach to the MENA region, as much by conceptual clarification as by making recommendations for Western governments.
Rianne van Doeveren has undertaken research on the social diplomacy approach, in particular related to challenges and opportunities in the Arab world, during her time as a research fellow at the Clingendael Institute. Before joining the Clingendael Institute, she gained experience as an intern with grassroots NGOs in Israel/the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon. She is currently working as a management trainee, but continues to develop further her research into public diplomacy and the Arab world.
Also new at Clingendael
Jan Melissen, Beyond The New Public Diplomacy
Ten years into the 21st century, this short survey of current developments and trends in public diplomacy gives evidence of a growing recognition of the importance of diplomatic engagement with people. Governments realize that their country’s overseas attractiveness requires reaching out to transnational civil society, and think tanks and universities quickly understood that they could have a say in this. More than five years after publication of the The New Public Diplomacy (2005), Jan Melissen takes a fresh look at public diplomacy’s evolution, in the Western world and beyond. His reflections on the subject recognize the potential and the limitations of public diplomacy, and the author places its practice in the context of fundamental change in the wider process of diplomacy. This paper helps governments to think critically about a key aspect of today’s diplomatic practice and it summarizes lessons learned during the past decade.
Shannon Jones, Apology Justice for All
Shannon Jones looks into how reparative justice in recent years has been used increasingly as a mechanism of diplomacy and reconciliation, while the best known case studies remain those of Japan and Germany after the Second World War. However, even in the context of the same atrocity, some victims receive apologies and material compensation and others do not. This ‘acknowledgement gap’ casts doubt on whether reparative policies are sincere expressions of guilt and remorse. This paper investigates how states make decisions about whether or not to provide reparations for victims in an effort to compensate them for violations of their human rights. It examines the conditions that influence the type of reparative justice -material or symbolic -that a state is most likely to offer. Reparative policies, while cloaked in moral rhetoric, are the outcomes of political bargains. Reparative justice is most likely when a state believes it can enhance its security by restoring diplomatic relationships with offended neighbors, removing barriers to economic cooperation, or enhance its international prestige by demonstrating a commitment to its purported values.
Links to all of these papers are here