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This paper examines the non-liberal democracies of Singapore and Macao in their construction of national identities. Non-liberal democracies are different from their democratic counterparts in their reactions to perceived threats. Instead of forming a corporatist system to make important decisions by consensus, both Singapore and Macao leadership exclude the participation of civil society in defining their national identities.

Faced with high perceived threats and armed with strong governing capacity, Singapore succeeds in building a national identity overarching the cultural identities of major ethnic groups. In view of electoral setbacks, Singapore leaders have to include more public inputs into its policy making process, including the definition of national identity.

The Power of Small Nation Diplomacy in the 21stCentury - Mark Muller Stuart - TEDxGlasgow

On the contrary, the perceived threats of Macao are not pressing. The relative weak capacity of the city government makes the building of national identities gradual. Its high degree of ethnic homogeneity has contributed to a process of nation building relatively free of disputes. Barr Michael D. Chou Bill K. Clayton Cathryn H. Cooper Andrew F. Shaw Timothy M. How Resilient? Davies Jonathan S. Hey Jeanne A. Hilderbrand Mary E.

Grindle Merilee S. Kickert Walter J.

Kong Lily Yeoh Brenda S. Kwong Bruce K. It seems that you're in Germany. We have a dedicated site for Germany. Editors: Cooper , A. This is an in-depth analysis of the various methods used by small states to overcome their vulnerabilities in the international arena. With its balanced approach and variety of contributions, this book is of interest to researchers and academics who focus on the developing world or multilateral diplomacy. C, USA. This volume does an absolutely outstanding job in identifying, and exploring, this diversity of issues and themes in an accessible and engaging manner.

It sets out brilliantly the core debates surrounding the status of small states in the international political economy - including, crucially, as actors in rather than passive objects of international relations - and, as such, offers a good way in to debates about development more broadly. The appeal of studying small states, though, is nothing new.

Of late, a nascent research agenda has also emerged in critical IPE.


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These three broad approaches each represent a distinctive way of think- ing about the small-state problematic, and this is something which is in turn illustrated by the three edited collections that comprise the core focus of this article. These works provide essential reading for those who share an interest in what is a proliferating area of study, and they help us to flesh out the different positions that exist within the field of small-state studies by providing a snapshot of the debate in IR, devel- opment studies and IPE, respectively.

At the same time, all of these lit- eratures are problematic in some way. By contrast, newer directions in critical IPE which have commendably argued for greater recognition of small-state agency also tend to neglect — at least implicitly — the structural constraints on action.

My agenda in this article is to clarify and crystallize these three different approaches by situating each of the books within their wider intellec- tual and historical context. Then, the paper moves on to a specific focus on developments within critical IPE. It discusses how greater conceptual awareness and precision can help to overcome the problem of excessive voluntarism that I identify, and which is illustrated empirically by draw- ing briefly on four pertinent examples.

The paper concludes by delineating the broader conceptual implications, suggesting some ways forward for re-calibrating the focus of small-state analysis within IPE. It is divided into three parts which move chronolog- ically through defining contributions to the literature, refining the debate, and then small-state capacity. It ends with a lovely annotated bibliogra- phy which also succinctly outlines many other key analyses which did not make it into the book.

Cooper, Andrew F.

What is striking about the book is that it provides an explicit account of the strengths of the IR approach, as well as an implicit admission of a number of weaknesses. First, it is clear that, although interesting in terms of explaining new developments in the discipline in the s, s and s, the irredeemably state-centric nature of mainstream IR remained, and continues to remain, problematic. Conditioned by Cold War politics, moreover, the assumption on the part of many authors was simply that small states were only truly relevant in terms of their depen- dent relations with either the USA or the USSR.

For many early IR theorists, the category of small states was a catch-all term for every state which was not a Great Power. Third, few scholars have taken up the challenge laid down by the au- thors of the book to rethink small states through the lenses of the major traditions of IR theory, and particularly so beyond these supposedly small states of Western Europe.

The diplomacies of small states between vulnerability and resilience pdf

This is, of course, both welcome and interesting. A final point is that the relative paucity of analyses within IR is actually symptomatic of a longer-term trend, characterized by a waning of inter- est in small-state issues. It is actually quite telling that in the Ingebritsen et al. This can be explained to a degree by general indifference on the part of most IR scholars. Indeed, as the already limited interest of IR faded in conjunction with the rapid changes in the interna- tional system of the s, these very same processes — decolonization, the end of the Cold War, globalization — actually piqued the interest of devel- opment theorists and led to them taking up the baton in the s and s.

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Consequently, the concern was now very much on geographically smaller states with far fewer people as little as 12,—13, in the cases of Tuvalu and Nauru , markedly less wealth and considerably more uneven development. Empirically, this body of litera- ture began with a focus on the Pacific Island States Bertram, ; ; ; Bertram and Watters, , before moving on to, in particular, the Caribbean Clarke and Payne, ; Payne and Sutton, With its focus on a largely different set of cases to IR, this literature has had much greater success in defining smallness and ascertaining that there is a distinctive category of small states.

By the s, the Commonwealth Secretariat set the bar at a population of fewer than one million peo- ple before this was revised upwards in a subsequent report to 1. It is rather the case that small states are distinguished by their overriding existential condition: vulnerability. These publications represent the continued evolution of a distinctive theoretical approach within development economics which has sought to conceptualize and quantify notions of smallness — along with the related concepts of vulnerability and resilience — in order to address the specific difficulties that face small states.

The latest book consists of a number of chapters which are synthesized by the editors from the many contributions which have been made to the body of work since the s.


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It is recognition of the specific vulnerabilities of small states that has been the major achievement of this burgeoning literature. These can come in a variety of forms: nat- ural disasters; currency crises; dramatic environmental degradation; high transaction costs; price fluctuations in commodity markets, especially oil; weak administration; high levels of out-migration; and volatile growth of GDP, amongst numerous others.

Relatedly, small states suffer from a range of constraints linked to their smallness, including a narrow resource base, tiny domestic market and an often historically-constituted dependence on primary products for export Briguglio, Given that most small states thus have little choice but to operate high trade-to-GDP ratios, they are usually rendered extremely open economically and also often politically. They are consequently highly dependent on the international system, pre- Downloaded by [Matthew Louis Bishop] at 07 December cluding many of the developmental and diplomatic strategies employed by larger states.

Yet a crucial point to note is that, for the most part, small states have actu- ally had, historically, a degree of influence in certain diplomatic domains, as well as significant economic success.

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By now, it should be clear that vulnerability is an altogether differ- ent concept from those pertaining to growth, development and progress. Vulnerability does not necessarily imply weakness, underdevelopment or privation. As Briguglio 2 himself has put it:. There are a number of Small Island Developing States SIDS — Singapore, Cyprus and Malta are prime examples — that are very economically vulnerable, but have managed to generate high income per capita in spite of this condition. Fundamentally, the idea of vulnerability suggests that development is markedly more fragile, ephemeral and potentially threat- ened than in larger societies.

The central insight of the development literature, then, is that such proneness to harm derives directly from the material fact of smallness. It can also be seen to be what distinguishes small states as such. It is crit- ical to stress this point, because it is not often sufficiently clear in much Downloaded by [Matthew Louis Bishop] at 07 December theorizing on the subject.

Although it is certainly true that many small states are developing coun- tries, the above contention misreads the case made by development the- orists and other small state analysts.

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The argument is manifestly not that smallness is inherently a barrier to development or a constraint on eco- nomic success. This is widely recognized by most thinkers. Rather the point is that they remain vulnerable to dramatic changes in the nature of that development in ways that larger states — however rich or poor they may be — do not. Towards resilience This is not to say, of course, that small states are passive and helpless, and it is the building of resilience which is the second part of the equation that exercises the minds of development economists Briguglio, In Profiling Vulnerability and Resilience Briguglio et al.

Even though the indices which are utilized are kept relatively simple in terms of data in order to render them useful in a policy sense Briguglio, 1 , the methodological rigor employed is a major strength of the approach. Yet despite these successes, there are three main problems. These go beyond the reflexive methodological critique that Briguglio ibid.

First, it is questionable whether it is actually possible to quantify to any satisfactory extent what are, in reality, largely unquantifiable phenomena. There is little doubt that, as Briguglio et al. But, beyond this, what can quantification tell us substantively? Third, this debate lacks the kind of broad qualitative, historical and institutional insights that are characteristic of a political economy approach.