INAF-360 Smaller States and Peacemaking
Fall for 2017-2018
Not all states are built the same when it comes to peacemaking and conflict. Some, like the US, have extensive resources and are able bring to bear a wide range of resources and political influence. Most others, however, struggle to nurse limited national resources and limited political influence. These smaller states often utilize their limited resources in very clever and focused ways to deliver peacemaking outcomes. Often smaller states will fund the peacemaking activities of NGOs or financially support the peacemaking efforts of regional organizations. Of course, these states (great, medium and small) pursue peacemaking objectives in the name of their national interest (however that may be defined). Norway, for example, has supported peace initiatives in Guatemala, Sudan and Sri Lanka. While none of these countries had significant relations with Norway, the Storting (the Norwegian Parliament) funded these initiatives because they were deemed in the national interest. The same may be said of Japanese support for the Aceh peace initiative, as well as a host of others sponsored states around the globe. Arguably, no state is entirely dedicated to peacemaking along. In pursuing national interests some states may pursue peacemaking in one place, and conflict promotion in another.
In this course students will have an opportunity to examine a range of case studies that illustrate the peacemaking efforts of smaller states. Cases might include peacemaking efforts in Aceh, Mindanao, East Timor, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, and Colombia for example, and states acting as peacemakers include Japan, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Qatar and the Vatican. Of course in examining any of these cases it will be instructive to ask “what’s in it” for the given state. States do not pursue their international relations in purely cooperative terms and are not always benign. Indeed, some states may pursue peacemaking in a punitive or aggressive fashion.
Other academic years
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