The first chapter is about negotiating skills and what makes a diplomat, even if an accidental one. It tells of the many ups and downs one has to endure in politics by looking at the origins of the g7+ as a group. The capacity to navigate these turns is often an echo of complex historical processes of reconciliation in a community; it is also intimately connected to experiences of having had to cope with incredibly steep learning curves.
The accidental diplomats in the g7+ achieved quite a lot against the odds, including the approval of the New Deal in 2011. We should perhaps consider the g7+ both in terms of its being ‘a means to an end’ (international recognition) and ‘an end in itself’ (a parallel system). There is considerable ambivalence about its 'transformative capacities’, something that requires a nuanced analysis. As an exercise in practising diplomacy, there is much to be learned from such experiences, which can furnish future endeavours.