Publisher: Strategic Studies Institute U. S. Army War College
Category: Balance of power
"The United States is no longer the only global center of power as it was in the first years of post-Cold War era. Neither are there just two superpowers -- the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics -- that define the course of global events. The new multipolarity implies the presence of several centers of power that will provide the opportunity for small states, such as Belarus, to move from one center of power to the other and/or to engage in a sort of geopolitical gamesmanship. During the last 10 years or so, Belarus moved from Russia to the European Union and back, while at the same time engaging in relationships with Iran and China. While relationships with Russia and the European Union have not been stable, the story is different with China and Iran. Belarus has always maintained a good relationship with both countries, especially with China. This demonstrates the increasing role of Asia in the geopolitical arrangements now and certainly in the years to come."-- Publisher's website.
Comprehensive and timely, this Handbook identifies the key characteristics, challenges and opportunities involved in the politics of small states across the globe today. Acknowledging the historical legacies behind these states, the chapters unpack the costs and benefits of different political models for small states.
Small States in the International System addresses the little understood foreign policy choices of small states. It outlines a theoretical perspective of small states that starts from the assumption that small states are not just large states writ small. In essence, small states behave differently from larger and more powerful states. As such, this book compares three theories of foreign policy choice: realism (and its emphasis on structural factors), domestic factors, and social constructivism (emphasizing norms and identity) across seven focused case studies from around the world in the 20th Century. Through an examination of the foreign policy choices of Switzerland, Ireland, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ethiopia, Somalia, Vietnam, Bolivia and Paraguay, this book concludes that realist theories built on great power politics cannot adequately explain small state behavior in most instances. When small states are threatened by larger, belligerent states, the small state behaves along the predictions of social constructivist theory; when small states threaten each other, they behave along realist predictions.
What is the story behind the paradoxical survival of small and weak states in a world of great powers and crude power politics? And what explains the dramatic rise and fall in the number of states overtime, following no consistent trend and not showing an immediately obvious direction or pattern? The answers lie at the system-level: Small states survival is shaped by the international states system. Small state survival and proliferation is determined first and foremost by features of and dynamics created at the states system. As the states system changes and evolves the chances for small states to survive or proliferate change as well. In fact, a quantitive investigation confirms this, showing that over the course of more than 31⁄2 centuries, the number of small states did fluctuate widely and at times dramatically.
The success of Jamaica’s impact on U.S. foreign policy proves that it is possible for a small, developing country to influence a superpower. Issues and experiences that are documented and analyzed in this book illustrate the issues of critical importance concerning the relations between large, powerful countries and small states.
The first part of this book is primarily devoted to analysing the impact of the system of international relations on the fortunes of small states. The second part discusses the question 'what changes in the national strategy of small states are necessary in view of the new international system?' The authors of this volume come from various parts of the world and espouse differing outlooks. Nevertheless, they were able to coalesce around a similar theme in an effort to contribute to the international understanding of the special challenges that confront the world's small states.
Author: Commonwealth Advisory Group for Updating the 1985 Vulnerability Report
Publisher: Commonwealth Secretariat
Category: Commonwealth countries
There has been a dearth of solid analytical work done on the special problems of small states. This report attempts to overcome that shortcoming and provides a comprehensive analysis of vulnerability of small states in all its dimensions, including political, economic, social and environmental aspects. The Commonwealth's 31 small states (countries with a population of 1.5 million or less) do not form a homogeneous group, but share important characteristics which render them vulnerable, including openness, insularity, enclaveness, weakness and dependence. These characteristics of vulnerability are examined, both by type of threat - territorial, political, economic and environmental - and by region. Many small states have an enviable record of political stability, and some have a good record on economic and social progress; but others have struggled to develop their economies. Small states are concerned about possible marginalisation in a world of globalised trade, investment, finance and production; they are more susceptible than larger states to environmental threats, both natural and man-made; and threats posed to their security by international crime. The increasing importance of regional organisations and international fora for enhancing their security are discussed. The report provides a series of action points to counteract small states' vulnerability. It was prepared by a nine-member Advisory Group of eminent personalities constituted by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, in response to a decision taken by member governments.
The Arabian Gulf region is a vulnerable flashpoint. Small states in this region try to leverage their core interests against big power domination. This book narrates the problematique of Kuwait, whose geostrategic weakness was exposed in 1990, forcing her to trade resource strength for security guarantees. In recent years, challenged by regional rivalries, environmental impacts, falling oil prices and the dangers of terrorist insurgency, Kuwait faces an escalating security dilemma. With the imminent disengagement of the U.S. from Middle Eastern entanglements, should Kuwait resort to hedging partnerships with emerging multipolar giants like China, Russia or India? Can Kuwait survive domestic challenges of a youth bulge, a huge expatriate population, budgetary deficits, increasing public welfare and costs of desalination? What would be the main security options for Kuwait in a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous?
This book updates the 1989 volume 'Caribbean in World Affairs' providing a comprehensive and theoretically-grounded account of diplomatic developments in the Caribbean. The new material includes attention to the changed global setting, updated theoretical developments in foreign policy, and the inclusion of Haiti and Suriname.