信强等：“Small states as helpless pawns? Panama’s diplomatic strategy over the Taiwan Strait”, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, DOI: 10.1080/09557571.2023.2170872
A traditional great power stereotype of small states is that of helpless pawns in world politics. After Panama severed its longstanding diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 2017, small state diplomacy once again came under the spotlight. By tracing Panama’s convoluted diplomatic relations over the Taiwan Strait since 1949, we argue that, rather than great power competition alone, it is Panama’s state capacity and its strategic calculations about external threats that account for the shifts in its relations with Taiwan and Mainland China. We further identify five strategies adopted by Panama: bandwagoning, status-seeking, issue linkages, two-sided bargaining, and diplomatic recognition. By bringing agency back into the agent-structure debate, this article shows how, as an agent, Panama has maximised its action space and sheds light on Taiwan administration’s shrinking international recognition against the backdrop of the rising global influence of the People’s Republic of China.
Link: 信强等：Small states as helpless pawns? Panama’s diplomatic strategy over the Taiwan Strait