Track-Two Diplomacy in East Asia
Pauline Kerr and Brendan Taylor
Studies of track-two diplomacy, that is, analyses of non-state actors (individuals or organizations) involved in diplomacy, are problematic for students. There are different claims about the purpose and functions of track-two actors and their relationships with track-one, or state, actors. More research is needed to clarify the nature of track-two diplomacy before it can be understood from the perspectives of traditional state-based or "new" multi-actor models which offer contrasting explanations of contemporary diplomacy. This chapter is a response to this challenge. It argues that research based on three comparative studies of track-two diplomacy around environmental, security, and economic issues in East Asia reveal interesting findings. Rather than supporting the new multi-actor diplomacy models, which elevate the importance of non-state actors and their role in track-two diplomacy, it appears that in this region, the traditional state-based model better explains track-two diplomacy. Contemporary diplomacy is changing, but the traditional model still retains explanatory power, at least in East Asia.