Award Name

Junior Award Winner

Award Date

Spring 3-23-2016


The most severe security threat facing the international community relates to the policy of alienating diplomacy and its implications – the destabilizing strategies employed by states that have become misperceived as revisionist, the counterstrategies adopted by other states as a response to these radical approaches, and the potential for stability that is lost through the isolating policies. Diplomacy of alienation is deeply ingrained in systemic-level great power competition, and creates a situation that limits states’ interactions with each other, which can lead to mutual misinterpretation of state motives. It also limits the alienated states’ foreign policy choices, constraining their ability to demonstrate their true intentions through legitimate mechanisms and leading them to adopt radical and extreme foreign policy approaches. This reinforces and legitimizes the perception of these states as rogue and revisionists within the international community. As a result, the international community adopts counterstrategies that only increase the destabilizing effects to international security and further make the alienated states feel insecure. This constitutes a self-fulfilling feedback loop based on a security dilemma, which accumulates insecurity and conflict in the international community, and also has negative implications due to lost potential stability. Iran is analyzed as a country that has gone through these dynamics, but that has also demonstrated progress as a result of reversed alienation and reengagement efforts from the international community.

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