International Relations : The Domestic And The International

1241 WordsDec 6, 20165 Pages
International relations are often conceptualized as interactions between clearly delineated nation-states. In this globalizing world, however, transnational actors are playing an increasingly larger part. Diasporic communities hold significant political clout within their adopted lands, as well as their home countries. Accordingly, several scholars have strived to break away from that traditional dichotomy: the domestic versus the international. Expanding on Robert Putnam’s theory of international negotiations as a two-level process (in which politicians must simultaneously please their domestic constituency and the foreign states they are negotiating with), Yossi Shain and Tamara Coffman Wittes refer to a “three-level game”. Diasporas are distinct from the hostland as well as the homeland, existing in a third space that confers them with unique political agency. To Shain and Wittes, “diasporas cannot be viewed simply as a domestic constituency within their host state but must also be viewed as independent actors in the conflict resolution process” (Shain & Wittes, 172). This distinction is particularly significant in light of the fact that the interests of a diasporic community are not always perfectly aligned with those of the residents of the homeland: Shain and Wittes argue that the primary value of the homeland within the diaspora consciousness is its symbolic power to convey and preserve identity – in contrast to those who live in the homeland, who may have more

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