v7n2_03 - Track Two Diplomacy: The Work of Healing History...

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Track Two Diplomacy: The Work of Healing History by Joseph V. Montville T hese are good times for the concept of track two diplomacy, the unofficial, constructive interaction between adversaries in political conflicts. The search engine Google, for instance, lists thousands of entries for the term. In the fall of 2005, moreover, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, one of the largest American grant makers in the field of international peace and security, devoted the cover story of its flagship magazine, The Carnegie Reporter, to track two diplomacy. In “Track II Diplomacy: Averting Disaster?,” that issue also highlights the work of three practitioners of track two diplomacy, whose activities demonstrate the range and significance of that approach. The first is Harold Saunders, the most senior of track two diplomats. A former assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs, Saunders helped President Carter negotiate the Camp David peace agreement between President Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Begin of Israel in 1978. Since leaving official, “track one” life, Saunders has participated in track two dialogue between Russian and American civilians during the Dartmouth conference series and, since 1993, has been running an unprecedented, sustained track two process to support democracy building in Tajikistan. Michael Krepon, founding president of the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington, DC has been practicing successful track two diplomacy for years between India and Pakistan on nuclear nonproliferation. Susan Shirk, a deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific in the Clinton administration, is now working on track two diplomacy from her base as the director of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California, San Diego, and was also the founder of the North East Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD), a track two program that has been bringing together representatives of China, Japan, Russia, North and South Korea, and the United States since 1993. Shirk is currently researching the way track two diplomacy affects the perceptions and moderates the policies of track one actors; builds informed back channels useful in crises; injects policy ideas into track one discussions; and influences the creation of permanent institutions to carry out the functions of the unofficial dialogue Joseph V. Montville is Senior Fellow and Chair, Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University, and Diplomat in Residence at American University. His chapter, “Reconciliation as Realpolitik,” appears in Identity, Morality, and Threat: Studies in Violent Conflict , Daniel Rothbart and Karyna Korostelina, eds. 15
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v7n2_03 - Track Two Diplomacy: The Work of Healing History...

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