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Track Two Diplomacy from a Track One Perspective: Comparing the Perceptions of Turkish and American Diplomats

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Although it is often implicitly assumed by track two practitioners that track two efforts are complementary to official negotiations and are welcomed by official actors, little is known about the actual perceptions of these efforts by official parties, especially in the context of non-Western countries. Turkey, as one of these countries, was exposed to numerous track two efforts in the last decade. A survey of Turkish diplomats was conducted to explore how interventions by American- and European-based track two actors are perceived by the track one community in a developing and non-Western country. The Turkish diplomats' perceptions are organized around four categories: who are the track two actors, contributions of track two diplomacy, problems caused by track two diplomacy, and ideas concerning track two-track one cooperation. Then, the perceptions of Turkish and American diplomats are compared to assess whether their perceptions of track two diplomacy differ and, if so, in what particular ways they differ. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed and ideas for future research proposed.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science, Bilkent University, Bilkent Ankara 06800, Turkey

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