Giulia Prelz Oltramonti is co-organising an international workshop on “The para-diplomacy of non-state (armed) organisations and their implications for state-diplomacy” at the REPI, ULB, on 24 January 2020.
The term diplomacy is traditionally reserved for the official relations between internationally recognized states. In a context in which most conflicts are internal and see armed non-state actors engage in ‘rebel governance’, non-state armed (and non-armed) actors tend to become fully-fledged international actors appealing to, amongst others, state diplomacies, diasporas, inter-governmental organisations, and other non-state actors.
During the Cold war such international interactions were frequently seen through the prism of proxy-wars and strategies of internationalization of military struggles. They have, after the end of the Cold war, often been analysed as expression of the “dark side of globalization”, linking non-state (armed) actors to illegal activities such as arms trafficking and international organized crime. At the same time, these strategies of ‘extraversion’ on the part of non-state (armed) actors are becoming increasingly diverse, involving a varied set of interlocutors such as INGOs, fora representing non-state groups, CSOs, IGOs or MNCs. What is the extent of these transformations?
This workshop focuses on the political, non-clandestine, and quasi-diplomatic nature of these international practices, gathering academics and practitioners under Chatham house rules. It covers a wide range of non-states (armed) actors, including non-state political-military organisations and entities that claim statehood but are denied international recognition.