Examples of state and non-state actors collaborating on issues of global politics abound. Non-state actors are increasingly involved in policy formulation processes, in peace-keeping processes, in human rights and environmental issues by advising governments or inter-governmental organisations. This type of collaboration mostly takes place at the discretion of states. However, non-state actors sometimes appear to initiate diplomatic processes. The Kimberley Process is an example of such a case. States and another non-state actor, namely business, were forced to the negotiating table by NGOs who were effectively raising consumer awareness about the role of diamonds in fuelling conflict and who held the power over launching a possible consumer boycott. Polylateralism is a term that was coined to represent the participation of non-state actors in the conduct of international relations. The study uses the Kimberley Process negotiations from 2000 to 2002 as a case study to analyse the dynamics of polylateral diplomacy by examining the nature and form of interaction between the three sets of actors, namely states, civil society and business in order to understand the role played by each group in both agenda setting and rule making, and the extent to which their interactions conform to the central ideas of polylateralism as advanced by international scholars. In so doing the study examines the evolving mode of interaction between states and non-state actors in the Kimberley Process, the ability of non-state actors to influence diplomatic processes, the extent to which states determined the boundaries of non-state diplomatic involvement and, finally, the limitations of polylateral diplomacy. The study concludes that the apparent increase in collaboration between state and non-state actors in diplomatic processes does not constitute a new method of diplomacy and that this will not change until non-state actors have become recognised polities. It also finds that the involvement of non-state actors in diplomacy, particularly as consumers of diplomatic outcomes is likely to become more-and-more prevalent and that professional diplomats, especially those in developing countries, may have to adapt their working methods in order to benefit from this phenomenon by allowing for a more systematic engagement with non-state actors. Finally, it finds that while the Kimberley Process is a good example of the involvement of non-state actors as producers of diplomatic outcomes, this phenomenon is less likely to reoccur and may well be the exception rather than the rule for the foreseeable future.
Dissertation (MDiplomatic Studies)--University of Pretoria, 2011.