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Public diplomacy’s new civic actors: NGOs, women-mediators’ networks and diasporas


Study Group Notices (12)

When: May 27, 2022, 2-3:30pm Dublin time

Where: Online - Register Here

This webinar will discuss the role of new actors in public diplomacy efforts on the example of case studies of Irish and Greek diasporas, Polish NGOs’ involvement in social diplomacy abroad, and the contribution of women mediators’ networks on the Northern Ireland peace process. The recent increase of research attention to the engagement of non-state actors in social diplomacy has been warranted by the growing impact non-state institutions (like NGOs), communities (like diasporas) and hitherto underrepresented individual and group actors (like women and women-mediators’ networks) have started to exert on the public sphere at home and abroad. The uniqueness of this particular field of research and practice is also discernible in the fact that those representatives of civil society actively engage with the relevant state institutions and international stakeholders to co-create public policies in “soft” diplomacy or influence negotiation outcomes.

The invited experts will address the following questions: What are the most important aspects of the social power exercised by NGOs engaged in public diplomacy? How do women mediator's networks co-create a foreign policy mechanism for amplifying all women's voices, including those of civil society? What does the comparison of Irish and Greek diasporas and their cooperation with the respective ministries of foreign affairs tell us about the factors that make diasporas’ efforts effective? What are the challenges new civic actors face in these endeavours? What is the intended as well as the unintended added value of non-state actors’ engagement with social diplomacy?


2:00-2:05pm (Dublin time): Welcome: dr hab. Galia Chimiak (IFiS PAN), Convenor of the DSA I Civil Society Study Group

2:05-2:20pm: Dr Katarzyna Zalas‑Kamińska (University of Wrocław, Poland): NGOs’ social power in Polish public diplomacy.

2:20-2:35pm: Dr Catherine Turner (Durham Global Security Institute, UK): Women mediators’ networks’ role in co-creating a foreign policy mechanism on the example of the Northern Ireland peace process.

2:35-2:50pm: Mr. Dimitris Tzirakis (DG MARE, European Commission, Belgium): A Comparative Case Study of Greek and Irish diasporas’ cooperation with the respective ministries of foreign affairs.

2:50-3:05pm: Dr Martin Russell (The Networking Institute, Ireland): Discussant.

3:05-3:30pm: General discussion

About the Speakers

Dr Katarzyna Zalas-KaminskaDr Katarzyna Zalas‑Kamińska is a political scientist interested in NGOs activities in both development aid and public diplomacy, as well as international mediations. Her recent research concerns the image of Poland in terms of development diplomacy. She works as an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Political Science, University of Wroclaw, Poland. She is a member – as an independent scientific community representative - of the Development Cooperation Policy Council 2020-2024 with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Poland.

Catherine TunrerDr Catherine Turner is an Associate Professor in law. She is the deputy director of the Durham Global Security Institute. Prior to joining Durham Law School in 2013 Catherine was a member of Ulster University’s Transitional Justice Institute (2004 – 2012). Catherine's research focuses on international humanitarian law, peace mediation, and transitional justice. She has also conducted research with women peace mediators in Northern Ireland. Catherine has worked with governmental departments and international organisations to promote inclusive mediation and dialogue and the increased representation of women in high-level peace mediation. She is Chair of the Board of Mediation Northern Ireland, and a member of the Board of the Brussels based MediatEUr.

dimitris TzirakisMr. Dimitris Tzirakis is a political scientist, currently working as a Geographical Policy Officer at the European Commission at the DG for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MARE). He holds an MSc in International and European Relations from Linkoping University. He has gained experience at the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the dedicated unit for the Greek diaspora and at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Greece. Mr. Tzirakis’ research interests include International Diplomacy, Public Diplomacy, Diaspora Studies, Tourism Development, and Governmental Innovation and Technology.

Martin RussellDr Martin Russell completed his PhD at the Clinton Institute at UCD where his research focused on the role of the Irish diaspora in the Northern Ireland Peace Process specifically looking at diaspora media, diaspora philanthropy, and diaspora politics. He was also a visiting fellow at the United Nations University in Maastricht. He currently sits on the Advisory Board of Ireland Reaching Out as well as participating on the Leadership Chief Circle of TurkishWIN (Turkish Women's International Network). Martin has worked on diaspora engagement across the globe and has a varied publication record, including several diaspora engagement policies and strategies.

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