SKSU 6274 MALAYSIA AND SMALL-STATE STRATEGY
The study of “smaller states” (the non-great powers) is a relatively neglected area of inquiry in International Relations. This course aims to fill this gap by exploring the unique situation and value of smaller states in world politics, with Malaysia as a case study. The course consists of three parts. The first part focuses on the conceptual and analytical tools needed to explain various dimensions of small-power statecraft, especially concerning how weaker states survive in a world dominated by stronger powers, and why they pursue certain policy approaches the way they do. The second part examines Malaysia’s strategic concerns and diplomatic aspirations at the regional and global levels. Attention is paid on how and why, despite its inherent predicaments and vulnerabilities, the smaller state has endeavoured to punch above its weight on the evolution of ASEAN, the institutionalisation of East Asian cooperation, the creation of developing-countries-oriented initiatives, the participation in the United Nations and the peacekeeping operations. The third part provides opportunity for students to present their case studies on smallpower statecraft in different regions.