在美国,真诚的异议得到倾听

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内容来源:分享美国  地址链接:http://go.usa.gov/xxGvx



艾森豪威尔 (Dwight D. Eisenhower) 总统1954年在哥伦比亚大学(Columbia University)的一个讲话中说,美国人是“敢于对公认原则提出异议的男女人士”的后代。


他说:“作为他们的后裔,愿我们永远不把真诚的异议与不忠的颠覆相混淆。”

正是本着这种精神,国务卿威廉·罗杰斯(William Rogers)在1971年为美国外交官建立了一个“异议渠道”,让他们提出对政策的担忧,而不必害怕受到惩罚、报复或反责。通过为异议者提供一个安全的空间,国务院领导人让雇员能够基于良知提出问题,并使决策人能够从多方观点中受益。


对巴基斯坦政策有担忧的国务院人员在第一年就使用了这个渠道。通常情况下,外交官每年提出的异议只有很少几条。


今年,一些中层外交官使用这一渠道对美国在叙利亚危机上的政策提出批评。

结果呢?国务卿约翰·克里(John Kerry)会见了其中的一些人,亲自听取他们的意见。没有报复,没有惩罚,只有诚恳的讨论。


除了异议渠道以外,美国外交人员协会(American Foreign Service Association)每年表彰一位展现出“知性的勇气——无论问题有多么敏感或行动后果如何——从内部挑战体制、质疑现状和表达立场”的外交官。


助理国务卿查尔斯·里夫金(Charles Rivkin) 在《赫芬顿邮报》(Huffington Post)和一个外交博客上,表达了他对在一个“将建设性异议纳入核心价值”的部门工作的自豪感。美国外交人员协会颁发的年度奖以里夫金已故父亲威廉(William)命名。


虽然异议人士的意见不一定确保得到采纳,但国务院高度重视他们表达担忧的权利。通过这种做法,国务院不仅保持了自己历史悠久的传统,并且体现约翰·肯尼迪(John F. Kennedy)总统所说:“如果没有辩论,没有批评,没有任何一个政府和国家能成功——没有任何共和国能生存下来。”


In America, honest dissent gets a hearing


Speaking at Columbia University in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower observed that Americans are descended from “men and women who dared to dissent from accepted doctrine.”


“As their heirs,” the president declared, “may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.”


It was in that spirit that, in 1971, Secretary of State William Rogers established a “dissent channel” for U.S. diplomats to raise their policy concerns without fear of penalty, reprisal or recrimination. By providing a safe space for dissenters, the department’s leaders assure that employees can raise issues of conscience and that policymakers benefit from a range of views.


The channel was used that very first year by department employees who had concerns about Pakistan policy. Typically, diplomats register just a few dissents each year.


This year, some mid-level officers used the channel to criticize U.S. policy on the Syrian crisis.


The result? Secretary of State John Kerry met with some of those officers to hear their concerns firsthand. No retaliation, no penalty, just honest discussion.

In addition to the dissent channel, the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) each year honors an officer who demonstrates “the intellectual courage to challenge the system from within, to question the status quo and take a stand, no matter the sensitivity of the issue or the consequences of their actions.”


Writing in the Huffington Post and on a diplomatic blog, Assistant Secretary of State Charles Rivkin expresses pride in serving in a department “that has incorporated constructive dissent as a core value.” The AFSA award is named for Rivkin’s late father, William.


While dissenters have no assurance their views will prevail, the department takes seriously their right to raise concerns. In doing so, it not only upholds its own honored tradition but affirms what President John F. Kennedy once said: “Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed — and no republic can survive.”



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