1st Edition

Asymmetric Neighbors and International Relations Living in the Shadow of Elephants

Edited By Ian Roberge, Nara Park, Thomas R. Klassen Copyright 2023
    256 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    With a range of case studies from every continent, the contributors to this book analyze the challenges that arise for states living with much larger neighbors, and the policies they develop to account for this asymmetry.

    Bringing together the perspectives of bilateral relations and the study of small states, this book analyzes a range of scenarios where one or more smaller countries must manage relations with a much larger neighbor or neighbors, from the perspective of the smaller countries. Each case presents different priorities, depending on the relationship between the states concerned, while highlighting the commonalities across the various scenarios. The range of cases and contributors is wide and diverse, with examples including Togo’s relationship with Ghana, Mongolia’s with China, and Colombia’s with Brazil – as well as more widely known examples such as Canada and the United States, or Australia and New Zealand.

    A valuable resource for scholars and students of international relations, and public policy of small- and medium-sized states.

    1. New Perspectives on Asymmetrical Relations

    Thomas R. Klassen, Nara Park and Ian Roberge

    Part I: Asymmetrical Relations in a Bilateral Context

    2.Canada and the United States: A Symbiotic Relationship or Complex Entanglement?

    Charles Conteh

    3. Dealing with Russia: Georgia’s Endeavor to Escape Trampling

    Salome Minesashvili, Frédéric Labarre, and Pierre Jolicoeur

    4. Endless Integration of Russia and its "Difficult Ally" Belarus

    Leonid Karabeshkin, Frédéric Labarre and Pierre Jolicoeur

    5. Legacies of a Trans-Tasman Relationship: The Evolution of Asymmetry between New Zealand and Australia

    Jennifer Curtin and Dominic O’Sullivan

    6. Living in the Shadow of Elephants: The Case of Timor-Leste

    Nicholas Morris

    7. Living Peacefully or In the Shadow? Elucidating the Relationship between Ghana and Togo

    Frank L.K. Ohemeng and Emmanuel K. Sakyi

    Part II: Asymmetrical Relations in a Regional Context

    8. The Middle Power Diplomacy of South Korea: Four Strategic Choices vis-à-vis Japan and China

    Nara Park

    9. Mongolia’s Balancing Act: Sandwiched between a Bear and a Dragon

    Undraa Agvaanluvsan

    10. Balancing the Elephant and the Dragon: Nepal’s Struggle for Political In(ter)dependence

    Jawad Hussain Qureshi

    11. The Little Red Dot that Roared: Singapore Between Giants

    Yohanes Sulaiman

    12. A Tripartite Dilemma: Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan Relations at the Intersection of Identity and National Interest

    Merve Özdemirkiran-Embel

    13. Stepping out of the Shade: Qatari-Saudi Relations Amid the Rise of Cosmopolitan Qatar

    Gertjan Hoetjes

    14. Colombian Economic Foreign Policy toward Brazil: Limited Cooperation and Competition for Regional Leadership

    Eduardo Pastrana Buelvas and Diego F. Vera Piñeros


    15. The Mouse Fights back: The Manoeuvring Room of Smaller States with Respect to Their Larger Neighbor(s)

    Ian Roberge


    Ian Roberge is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at York University in Toronto, Canada.

    Nara Park is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Management at Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea.

    Thomas R. Klassen is a Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at York University, Toronto, Canada.