Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What is Peter Jones reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Peter Jones, author of Track Two Diplomacy in Theory and Practice.

One book he tagged:
A book I have recently finished reading is Frederik Logevall’s very interesting Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam. This is a very readable and yet also scholarly account of the final years of the French experience in IndoChina, and of how the US came to be sucked into that conflict.

After World War 2, France was keen to re-assert its Great Power status and overcome the legacy of surrender and occupation. Many senior French officials saw a vigorous assertion of Imperial greatness as one means to do this. This view ran smack up against the emerging desire for liberation, which would spawn the de-colonisation movement of the 50s and 60s throughout the developing world. While many of these movements were simply the indigenous expression of a desire to throw off colonialism, it was the misfortune of these movements to be active at just the time the Cold War was settling its grip over international affairs. Though many of them were hardly committed Communists, the language and concepts of the era meant that their struggles would be interpreted through...[read on]
About Track Two Diplomacy in Theory and Practice, from the publisher:
Track Two Diplomacy consists of informal dialogues among actors such as academics, religious leaders, retired senior officials, and NGO officials that can bring new ideas and new relationships to the official process of diplomacy.

Sadly, those involved in official diplomacy often have little understanding of and appreciation for the complex and nuanced role that Track Two can play, or for its limitations. And many Track Two practitioners are often unaware of the realities and pressures of the policy and diplomatic worlds, and not particularly adept at framing their efforts to make them accessible to hard-pressed officials. At the same time, those interested in the academic study of Track Two sometimes fail to understand the realities faced by either set of practitioners.

A need therefore exists for a work to bridge the divides between these constituencies and between the different types of Track Two practice—and this book crosses disciplines and traditions in order to do just that. It explores the various dimensions and guises of Track Two, the theory and practice of how they work, and how both practitioners and academics could more profitably assess Track Two. Overall, it provides a comprehensive picture of the range of activities pursued under this title, to provoke new thinking about how these activities relate to each other, to official diplomacy, and to academe.
Learn more about Track Two Diplomacy at the Stanford University Press website.

Peter Jones is also the author of Open Skies: Transparency, Confidence-Building, and the End of the Cold War.

The Page 99 Test: Open Skies.

The Page 99 Test: Track Two Diplomacy in Theory and Practice.

Writers Read: Peter Jones.

--Marshal Zeringue