Citizen-Diplomacy, Past and Future: A Case-Study of Tempe Sister Cities, People-to-People International Arizona, and Global Ties Arizona, 1956-2021

Academic Year: 
2018 to 2019

Keith Brown | Director | Melikian Center: Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies

Jennifer Quincey | Banyan Tree Editorial Services

The Citizen-Diplomacy research cluster will bring together researchers, librarians, archivists and community members around a multi-method, and multi-scale history of citizen-to-citizen diplomacy during and after the Cold War. We will focus on the role of civic associations established in response to President Eisenhower’s 1956 “People to people” initiative, and trace their changing forms, programming and status through significant geopolitical, socio-economic and technological change.


As international channels of communication have proliferated, and the speed and ease of travel and exchange increased, some organizations have struggled, or stagnated, while others have transformed themselves; some have expanded, others shrunk or disbanded. What factors have contributed to different outcomes? Do concepts like “soft power” (Nye 1990, 2004), “social capital” (Putnam 1995, 2000) and the capabilities approach to development (Nussbaum 2006) help clarify how civic organization and international engagement have evolved? How have changes in the salience of race, class and gender in U.S. domestic politics impacted the internal and external relations of these civic organizations? What can advocates for deeper international understanding and the dismantling of stereotypes of otherness learn from the past and present experiences of organizations in greater Phoenix?


ASU Participants

Keith Brown, Melikian Center: Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies.

Jennifer Quincey, Banyan Tree Editorial Services

Ruth Allen, People to People Arizona

Wendy Anderton, Global Ties Arizona

Denise Bates, CISA Interdisciplinary and Leadership Studies

Renee James, ASU libraries

Kristine Navarro-McElhaney, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.

Dobrin Nedelkov, Tempe Sister Cities

Robert Niebuhr,  Barrett, the Honors College

Alexandra Humphreys, ASU Libraries

Jere Humphreys, Herberger School for the Arts

Sharon Smith, ASU libraries


(Photo: Skopje Mayor Dragoljub Stavrev presents his city's gift, a reproduction of the 1371 fresco "The Peacebringers" to Arizona Governor Jack Williams and Mrs. Dale Shumway, wife of Tempe's mayor, during the inaugural visit from Skopje's delegation to Tempe in 1971. Photo courtesy of Tempe Historical Museum.)

CSS for Research Clusters