Second track diplomacy is sometimes also referred to as "citizen diplomacy." In contrast to Official Diplomacy, where interaction between nation-states is carried out through designated government diplomats, second track diplomacy is the interaction of private citizens who are interested in peace building, negotiation, and conflict resolution.

More attention has been given to second track diplomacy in recent years, because of the adversarial nature of traditional "one track" diplomacy. Rather than official government ambassadors lay the groundwork for negotiation, focus has been placed on people of an academic level and private citizens who have participated in conflict resolution workshops and duties. Second track diplomacy has not replaced official diplomacy. Instead, it clears a path for easier and less tense official negotiating, and may bring together private citizens of confliction nation-states.

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