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Discreet Diplomacy: Practices of Secrecy in Transnational Think Tanks
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6797-3892
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1652-631x
2023 (English)In: The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, ISSN 2047-7716, Vol. 42, no 1, p. 98-117Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article aims to expand both the analytical gaze of diplomacy studies and anthropological interests in the field of transnational think tanks, advocacy and policy advice. Drawing on ethnographic data from three such organisations, itinvestigates secrecy practices within transnational think tanks, focusing on how everyday practices undertaken in secrecy amount to discreet diplomatic efforts. In a variety of ways, secrecy is utilised as a resource in foreign relations and diplomacy, thereby aiming to leverage status and influence. Although outwardly striving for transparency, secrecy practices are thus vital in the striving of transnational think tanks to establish themselves as actors of consequence in foreign relations and diplomatic circles. It is argued that practices of secrecy are part and parcel of the power games played, in which all participants learn and master what to discuss and what not to display. These practices, however, also imply a challenge in terms of accountability and transparency.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 42, no 1, p. 98-117
Keywords [en]
diplomacy, ethnography, power, secrecy, transnational think tanks
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology; Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-205524DOI: 10.3167/cja.2023.410108OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-205524DiVA, id: diva2:1665594
Projects
Global Policy Brokers
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2022-06-07 Created: 2022-06-07 Last updated: 2023-05-08Bibliographically approved

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Sörbom, AdrienneGarsten, Christina

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CiteExportLink to record
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