chapter  11
20 Pages

Economic diplomacy and small developed economies: The case of New Zealand

ByVangelis Vitalis

Nearly two and a half thousand years ago, a brutal lesson in realpolitik was delivered by a major power to a small state during the Melian Dialogue: ‘the strong do what they can’, while the weak ‘suffer what they must’ (Thucydides 400 BC). This is a good reminder of the challenges confronting small states, whether in 416 BC or in the present day. In fact, the world has not become a simpler place since the Peloponnesian War even if Francis Fukuyama (1989 and 1992) declared the ‘end of history’ at the putative end of the Cold War. We are in fact confronting a ‘New World Disorder’: an era of complexity characterized by a ‘great unravelling’ of existing certainties, stalling multilateralism and rising regionalism (Ferguson 2006, Cohen 2014, Haas 2014). The end of the Cold War and globalization have together imposed new points of reference, shaping diplomacy in general and trade and economic diplomacy in particular in new and interesting directions (Bayne 2011: 59-62 and Chapter 2 above).