Summary: The Arrow & the Olive Branch

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What is Track Two Diplomacy? In this chapter, Montville answers the question by describing its three distinct processes:

  1. Problem-solving workshops that bring together the leaders of conflicting groups for the purpose of:
    1. Developing workable personal relationships in a microcosm
    2. Understanding the dimensions of conflict from the perspective of the adversary, and
    3. Developing joint strategies for dealing with the conflict as a shared problem, the solution of which requires reciprocal and cooperative efforts.

  1. Influencing public opinion – A psychological process that consists of reducing the sense of victimhood of parties and rehumanizing the image of the adversary.

  1. Cooperative economic development – provides incentives, institutional support and continuity to the political and psychological processes. Offers the prospective of growth, the enhancement of individual well-being, and a measure of stability for families and communities who have suffered significant personal loss and endured chronic stability.

Montville concludes the chapter by citing examples in the European community of track two diplomacy successes. The hope is that these accounts of track two diplomatic efforts will contribute to a better understanding of the potential of conflict resolution.