The Golden snitch: status-seeking strategies of second-tier states, the cases of Canada, South Africa, and India

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2024-05
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Onea, Tudor A.
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

This thesis analyzes the status-seeking strategies of the second-tier states immediately below the Great Power Club. It seeks to answer who the second-tier states are, what strategies are available to them, and what may account for their choice of status-seeking strategies. It argues that what is thought as one category is comprised of three categories: rising powers, regional powers, and middle powers. It puts forth that we may locate countries in their respective categories by looking at their material capabilities in 5 dimensions: military expenditure, military personnel, economy, population, and technological development. Furthermore, considering their behaviors and recognition, it categorizes states. It puts forth that middle powers perform well in economy and technology, regional powers in population and military, and rising powers in multiple dimensions. After locating second-tier states in their categories, it argues that second-tier states seek status differently according to their material capabilities (their category) and identities. Employing three case studies on Canada, South Africa, and India, it looks into their power trajectory, foreign policies, and role identities evident in the discourse of the policymakers and official papers. This thesis, borrowing from Larson and Shevcheko’s (2014) work, puts forth that second-tier states choose social creativity and social mobility as their primary strategies and choose social competition as a last resort if continuous status denial occurs (Ward, 2017). While middle powers seek status through social creativity, turning negative attributes to positive, regional and rising powers seek it through social mobility, emulating the behavior of the higher club.

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