The fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet Union were only two of the many events that profoundly altered the international political system in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In a world no longer dominated by Cold War tensions, nation states have had to rethink their international roles and focus on economic rather than military concerns. This book examines how two middle powers, Australia and Canada, are grappling with the difficult process of relocating themselves in the rapidly changing international economy.
The authors argue that the concept of middle power has continuing relevance in contemporary international relations theory, and they present a number of case studies to illustrate the changing nature of middle power behaviour. In particular, they examine the trend towards the amalgamation of the foreign and trade ministries in both Canada and Australia and the growing importance of regional trading blocs, particularly Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Relocating Middle Powers is the first book to explore the similarities and differences in the foreign policies of two middle powers in a new era of international relations.
A welcome addition to the literature on the comparative study of Canadian and Australian foreign policy, this book also serves as a timely counter to the wave of literature exploring the “new world order” role of the United States; it reminds us that other players are present and can shape events.
This well-organized and clearly written book succeeds in establishing that a focus on the intellectual and entrepreneurial leadership of middle powers yields a significant gain in explanatory power when used to complement more orthodox approaches to the collective action problems inherent to forging cooperative international institutions. For those seeking an antidote to the great power chauvinism and often parochial character of much American scholarship on questions of leadership, hegemony, cooperation and world order, Relocating Middle Powers provides an informative and provocative alternative.
This comparative study of the foreign policy of two middle powers is clearly ground-breaking in nature, and one hopes it will direct more attention to international relations theorists to lesser powers in a post-hegemonic, post-cold war era.
Preface and Acknowledgments
1 Leadership, Followership, and Middle Powers in International Politics: A Reappraisal
2 Changing with the International Agenda: State Reorganization and Middle Power Diplomacy
3 The Multilateral Economic Agenda: The Cairns Group and the Uruguay Round
4 The Regional Economic Agenda: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and North American Free Trade
5 The Security Agenda: Coalition-building and the Gulf Conflict
6 Addressing the Widening Global Agenda: Australian and Canadian Perspectives Conclusion
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