Complementary Diplomacy

 

Special operations from deep space

 

We delegate foreign policy and international relations to governments but there are disadvantages to this.

Governments are not mandated to take radical steps. Their contact with real life at ground level is weak. They are subject to pressures from public opinion, vested interests, media, other governments, hidden agendas, institutional rules and quirks of political fate.

Diplomacy and globalisation have gone over the heads of the majority of the world's citizens. An enormous disjuncture has thus arisen between diplomatic levels and 'the street'. Things get decided without public debate - including declaration of war.


Sometimes situations call for us to oppose governments, institutions, public figures or the law. This is valuable and necessary when called for but, underneath, something more is needed, beyond campaigning and protest.

Governments and institutions tend to further their own viewpoint because there is a relative vacuum of consensual clarity and commonality between people at ground level.

People-to-people levels of contact across borders and continents can be weak. Thus by default, power is thus handed to governments and institutions.

This chapter is all about ways of counter-balancing institutional dominance by participating in international relations. Citizen diplomacy means people-to-people contact, while complementary diplomacy means international engagement of a deeper and more healing kind.


Citizen Diplomacy