When states and their leaders encounter international criticism, they normally employ one of three strategies: recognition, rejection or countering. Diplomats, however, often take a fourth approach, according to a new study by Senior Research Fellow Kristin Haugevik (NUPI) and Professor Cecilie B. Neumann (OsloMet).
Several hundred demonstrators gathered in front of the Norwegian Storting on Saturday 16 April 2016. Carrying posters with slogans like ‘Let the children go home now’, they showed their opposition to the Norwegian Child Welfare Services. According to the organizers, similar demonstrations would take place in 20 other countries on that day. Moreover, the public broadcaster BBC World Service had scheduled a critical documentary on the Norwegian Child Welfare Services.
Allegations that Norway kidnaps children have increased amongst critics outside Norway’s borders. Around the world, politicians and members of the public have voiced criticism of the Norwegian Child Welfare Services, peaking in the spring of 2016.
How do bureaucrats, politicians and diplomats manage such criticism – criticism that may damage the reputation of their state?
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