Tinatin Japaridze (MARS-REERS '19) published a paper about Cold War youth diplomacy on the University Consortium website.
Track Two diplomacy has been known to break through the barriers where official political negotiations are largely known to stumble and fall. And though imperfect and frequently insufficient to achieve the necessary results on paper, a nuanced approach demonstrates that the interplay between national interests and the human factor can often lead to surprising breakthroughs, particularly in times of conflict where traditional dialogue is not only difficult but also impossible. We are currently living through a prolonged state of winter coolness between Russia and the West. Some call it Cold War 2.0, whereas others argue that the relations have plummeted to an entirely unprecedented level of mistrust, further culminating in blocked channels of communication and reluctance to hear the other side. Yet, where traditional means falter, the nontraditional avenues of communication and even cooperation, such as Track Two diplomatic efforts, can prove to be more productive than most skeptics would rush to admit. To this end, revisiting one such example from the Cold War days may be timely during a tumultuous period in the bilateral relations, whereby traditional means are not only insufficient, but, one could argue, are also serving as a major impediment to a successful conflict resolution.