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Just Greasing the Wheels? Mediating Difference or the Evasion of Power and Responsibility in Diplomacy

Just Greasing the Wheels? Mediating Difference or the Evasion of Power and Responsibility in... We traditionally see diplomats as mediators. They build bridges between nations and they repair them when they break. During a crisis, diplomats ‘keep it cool’ and try to prevent the crisis from worsening into armed conflict. Diplomats are the men and women who keep the international system running despite its fundamentally conflictual nature. At least, this is how diplomats have portrayed their profession for hundreds of years. This role as mediator is apparent in third-party mediation such as us President Jimmy Carter’s involvement in the Israel–Palestine negotiations in 2002-2003 or in the eu ’s proposal to delegate high-level mediators for talks between President Viktor Yanukovich and the opposition in Ukraine before Crimea was annexed by Russia in March 2014. Explicit mediation is also evident in preventive diplomacy, such as the un ’s peacekeeping missions in Macedonia. In both third-party diplomatic mediation and preventive diplomacy, crisis or conflict resolution is the explicit goal. However, the focus of this contribution is how diplomacy in general is seen as mediating among states, peoples and ideas — and why this is an incomplete view. From James Der Derian’s understanding of diplomacy as ‘the mediation of estrangement’, 1 over English School-inspired pluralists such http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Hague Journal of Diplomacy Brill

Just Greasing the Wheels? Mediating Difference or the Evasion of Power and Responsibility in Diplomacy

The Hague Journal of Diplomacy , Volume 10 (1): 22 – Jan 27, 2015

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Forum
ISSN
1871-1901
eISSN
1871-191X
DOI
10.1163/1871191X-12341303
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We traditionally see diplomats as mediators. They build bridges between nations and they repair them when they break. During a crisis, diplomats ‘keep it cool’ and try to prevent the crisis from worsening into armed conflict. Diplomats are the men and women who keep the international system running despite its fundamentally conflictual nature. At least, this is how diplomats have portrayed their profession for hundreds of years. This role as mediator is apparent in third-party mediation such as us President Jimmy Carter’s involvement in the Israel–Palestine negotiations in 2002-2003 or in the eu ’s proposal to delegate high-level mediators for talks between President Viktor Yanukovich and the opposition in Ukraine before Crimea was annexed by Russia in March 2014. Explicit mediation is also evident in preventive diplomacy, such as the un ’s peacekeeping missions in Macedonia. In both third-party diplomatic mediation and preventive diplomacy, crisis or conflict resolution is the explicit goal. However, the focus of this contribution is how diplomacy in general is seen as mediating among states, peoples and ideas — and why this is an incomplete view. From James Der Derian’s understanding of diplomacy as ‘the mediation of estrangement’, 1 over English School-inspired pluralists such

Journal

The Hague Journal of DiplomacyBrill

Published: Jan 27, 2015

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