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Title: Small states beyond survival : strategies for sustenance
Authors: Nur Diyanah Mohd Azmi
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science::International relations
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: The discourse on small states is largely centered on the idea of survival because the international system is perceived as anarchic and the geographical size of the state suggests a lack of human and material resources, which is symptomatic of its inherent weaknesses. Survival in this instance is referred to as a state’s ability to continue to exist and secure its national interests as much as their limited military resources allows it to. The implication of survival here only provides two outcomes for the small states: survive or perish which provides credence to the idea that small states have no place in the international system. This is a neorealist position that has lost much of its relevance today. The change in the international environment due to the end of the Cold War has ensured that small states have a place in the international system. The end of the Cold War resulted in the steep decline of the ideological rivalry between the two superpowers and removed the threat of the nuclear war which brought about liberal cooperation and a state of peaceful co-existence. The Cold War justifies the neorealist position in assuming that the international environment was hostile during that period of time, which led to the preoccupation with survival. However, this no longer applies with the end of the Cold War. Whether a small state is able to ‘survive’ or have a place in the international system, based on its military strength is no longer as relevant in the discourse of small states. Therefore, how can the small state transcend the survival problematic? I argue that in the today’s world order, the state of peaceful co-existence is the operating maxim and norm. Survival, otherwise, referred to as having a place in the international system, is a fact that can be taken for granted in a state of peaceful co-existence. Since the small state no longer has to be preoccupied with survival, they are able to play a much bigger role in the international community. Therefore, small state discourse should now move towards the role small states can play in the international community by developing strategies for sustenance.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:RSIS Theses

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