Author to talk about diplomacy

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Robert Kelley, author of “Agency Change: Diplomatic Action Beyond the State,” will be at Southwest Harbor Public Library, Tuesday, July 28, at 5:30 p.m.

The topic of Kelley’s talk will address change and continuity in the institution of diplomacy. “Agency Change” was written after groundbreaking research in diplomatic studies. Professor Kelley puts forth that modern diplomatic efforts derive not from states whose centuries-long power is loosening, but rather from a new breed of diplomats; non-state diplomatic actors like religious leaders, celebrities and technology companies. “Agency Change” illustrates how parallel, yet disparate diplomatic systems are emerging – statesmen seeing power and non-state actors seeking solutions to problems – and examines different mutually beneficial solutions to the phenomenon.

Kelley suggests the time has come for governments to innovate so they can coexist with non-state actors. The two sides have separate aims and exhibit tendencies to compete with each other for supremacy in diplomatic affairs. A more enduring, mutually beneficial solution would be for each side to adopt compensatory positions to satisfy what their counterpart cannot. Kelley feels it is time for states to embrace change and respond to a world in which diplomacy has gone public.

Kelley is an assistant professor at the School of International Service, American University. With expertise on the subject accumulated over two decades, Kelley first gained recognition in the field of diplomacy as the 2007 Hayward R. Alker Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for International Studies, University of Southern California. Recently he directed the Intercultural Management Institute at American University, setting a new course for training and consulting of diplomatic corps around the world. Currently, he runs an annual skills institute on crisis diplomacy at American University. He is a native of East Winthrop.

Following the talk, there will be time for questions and answers. Call the library at 244-7065.

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