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Tarp, Maria Nilaus
Hansen, Jens Ole Bach
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
DIIS Working Paper 2013:11
In an increasingly interconnected world multilateral cooperation becomes more important as countries are forced to work together to address new global challenges. Traditionally, multilateral fora have provided a stage for small countries to exercise influence and act internationally. The authors argue that small countries have a set of assets at their disposal compared to larger countries that give them a comparative advantage in a multilateral world order. To make that argument, the paper highlights a number of examples based on the authors' first-hand experience from the Danish Foreign Service and the United Nations and summarises the toolbox of small countries that seek to pursue political influence in multilateral organisations. In order to capitalize on those opportunities, the authors encourage Denmark and indeed every small country with ambitions to play a role internationally to carefully consider the following questions when investing resources in the multilateral arena: * How have developments in the international architecture changed the game - is there a new role for small and smart players? * What are the particular assets that small countries have at their disposal compared to larger countries - i.e. what constitutes the comparative advantages of small countries'? * How can these assets be used in a 'smart' way to compensate for smallness and lack of 'hard' means of pursuing policies, and thus allow small states to punch above their weight?
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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