Polylateral Diplomacy: Diplomacy as Public–Private Collaboration

  • Yolanda Kemp Spies


In this chapter, the newest diplomatic mode, polylateral diplomacy, is analysed. Spies explains the catalytic processes that constitute this interface of official diplomacy with private initiatives. Non-state actors operate at domestic, transnational, international and global levels, and their de facto diplomacy often happens in parallel to that of sovereign states, challenging the latter’s jurisdiction. This has made the contemporary diplomatic arena pluralistic, dynamic and complex. Spies identifies the main categories of non-state diplomatic actors and explains their comparative advantages vis-à-vis state actors. The global public commons, where delivery of global public goods is at stake, is discussed to contextualise the intersection of state and societal interests. The intersection makes it imperative for joint ventures in statecraft and civilcraft—essentially the networked model that polylateral diplomacy entails.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yolanda Kemp Spies
    • 1
  1. 1.University of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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