The various activities collectively known as "Track 2 diplomacy" have been notoriously difficult to define using international relations (IR) theories. This project leverages the recent practice turn in IR to re-engage with the concept and explain what Track 2 is in practice: a collection of diplomatic and non-diplomatic activities with an ambivalent view of traditional diplomacy. Drawing on 18 virtual interviews with members of Asia-Pacific Track 2 networks, the project combines practice tracing and grounded theory to paint a rich empirical picture of participants' everyday practices, their material environments, and the background knowledge on which they rely. A new framework for understanding practices is proposed, arguing that the relationship between the conceptual categories of setting, background and performance can explain how and why practices change. This project questions the assumption that "Track 2 diplomacy" is indeed "diplomacy," and instead emphasizes the voice of the practitioner in defining this phenomenon.
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Thesis advisor: Cornut, Jérémie
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