Track 2 Diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific: Lessons for the Epistemic Community

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Feng, Huiyun
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2018
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Abstract

In the 1990s, Track 2 diplomacy and multilateralism led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) thrived in the Asia-Pacific, playing a major role in facilitating state cooperation in the economic and security arenas.1 Almost 30 years later, major Track 2 institutions continue to exert influence, while new institutions have emerged in response to new challenges. This form of diplomacy has contributed to regional institution-building and cooperation; however, the contribution of Track 2 groups remains limited, and their influence is waning. Facing potential power shifts and looming U.S.-China competition on the world stage, Track 2 institutions and scholars will need to consider how to adapt to this volatile international situation in order to stay relevant in international relations in the Asia-Pacific.

This essay will first discuss the ups and downs of Track 2 diplomacy since the 1990s, followed by an analysis of the challenges that it faces now. The conclusion will provide suggestions for the future direction of Track 2 diplomacy.

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Asia Policy

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13

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4

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Policy and administration

International relations

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