What is it about?

This Special Issue contains a forum discussion on state-society relations and engagement with the domestic public on international affairs issues. The introduction and seven essays help push forward the research agenda on domestic engagement in the practice of diplomacy. They discuss the potential of new dialogue formats, the agency of audiences, the effect on foreign policy of societal norms, diversity, equity and inclusion in international exchange, youth initiatives, the importance of relational rather than actor-centric approaches, and the nature of social diplomacy.

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Why is it important?

Relations between the state and the people, the smallest units of society, deserve to be part of the narrative on diplomacy. Such dialogue and participation practices are important and we argue that they deserve better theoretical and empirical understanding. We claim that national governments and other international actors have some way to go in their conceptual grasp and practices of diplomatic engagement with "ordinary people".

Perspectives

This has been a very stimulating collaboration with my co-editor HwaJung Kim from South Korea and a truly global group of dedicated authors from Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, the United States, and Uzbekistan. Next stop: we are preparing a book with many other chapters, to be published at the end of 2024.

Jan Melissen
Leiden University and University of Antwerp

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This page is a summary of: Engaging Home in International Diplomacy: Introduction, The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, October 2022, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/1871191x-bja10141.
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