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Book VI Alternative (Including Track 2) Diplomacy, 29 Secret or Back-Channel Diplomacy, Secret Intelligence, Religious and other Unconventional Diplomatic Actors

Ivor Roberts

From: Satow's Diplomatic Practice (7th Edition)

Edited By: Sir Ivor Roberts

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From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 07 December 2023

Diplomatic missions — Diplomatic relations — Special missions — Sovereignty — Governments

This chapter covers unconventional diplomatic actors. Secret or back-channel diplomacy can be described as a line of diplomatic communication which bypasses the normal diplomatic channels, in order to maximize secrecy and avoid opposition to a new line of policy. Secret intelligence, in contrast, is distinguished by intelligence gathering, and is conducted by intelligence officers rather than diplomats or ministers. Religious diplomacy presents another category of unconventional diplomacy, as religious bodies remain active in international relations due largely to their spiritual and humanitarian concerns. Security consultancies also offer a different kind of diplomacy, by providing their business-orientated political analysis to companies and on occasion governments and mediating in areas where governments fear to tread. Finally, multinational corporations are also involved in diplomatic activity.

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