This article seeks to develop a distinction between emerging and traditional middle powers as a means to giving the concept of a middle power greater analytical clarity. All middle powers display foreign policy behaviour that stabilises and legitimises the global order, typically through multilateral and cooperative initiatives. However, emerging and traditional middle powers can be distinguished in terms of their mutually-influencing constitutive and behavioural differences. Constitutively, traditional middle powers are wealthy, stable, egalitarian, social democratic and not regionally influential. Behaviourally, they exhibit a weak and ambivalent regional orientation, constructing identities distinct from powerful states in their regions and offer appeasing concessions to pressures for global reform. Emerging middle powers by contrast are semi-peripheral, materially inegalitarian and recently democratised states that demonstrate much regional influence and self-association. Behaviourally, they opt for reformist and not radical global change, exhibit a strong regional orientation favouring regional integration but seek also to construct identities distinct from those of the weak states in their region.
Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies
Taylor and Francis
JORDAAN, Eduard.(2003). The Concept of a Middle Power in International Relations: Distinguishing between Emerging and Traditional Middle Powers. Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies, 30(1), 165-181.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/394
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