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  • Author: Mark Beeson, Richard Higgott
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Middle power theory is enjoying a modest renaissance. For all its possible limitations, middle power theory offers a potentially useful framework for thinking about the behavior of, and options open, to key states in the Asia-Pacific such as South Korea, Japan and Australia, states that are secondary rather than primary players. We argue that middle powers have the potential to successfully implement 'games of skill', especially at moments of international transition. Frequently, however, middle powers choose not to exercise their potential influence because of extant alliance commitments and the priority accorded to security questions. We sub-stantiate these claims through an examination of the Australian case. Australian policymakers have made much of the potential role middle powers might play, but they have frequently failed to develop an independent foreign policy position because of pre-existing alliance commitments. We suggest that if the 'middle power moment' is to amount to more than rhetoric, opportunities must be acted upon.
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, Latin America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Gürol Baba, Taylan Özgür Kaya
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The 2007 Australian Parliamentary Elections brought a new dynamic to Australia's foreign policy: the Kevin Rudd factor. The Prime Minister sought to develop a more proactive and multi-faceted foreign policy around 'Creative Middle Power Diplomacy'. This study aims to cast light on the dynamism in Australia's Foreign Policy with Kevin Rudd within the framework of middle power activism. The research firstly focuses on the difficulties of defining and classifying middle powers through which it will put forward specific ' commonalities' for successful middle power foreign policy outcomes. The study of the EU–Australia Partnership Framework and the Asia-Pacific Community proposals–both of which were priorities for Kevin Rudd–reveal the potential and limits of middle power activism. This study argues that in today ' s world, middle powers have growing potential to pursue specific foreign policy goals but their ability to achieve these goals is constrained by Great Powers ' interests and consent, and also by the nature or ' commonalities' of middle power diplomatic practice.
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America, Asia-Pacific