Senior Lecturer and PhD Political Science student Matteo Piasentini and Dr. Alice Dell’Era (Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach Campus) published a journal article entitled, “Beyond the Weak Link: the Philippines’ Proactive Role in Emerging U.S.-led Strategic Minilateralism” in the latest issue of the Australian Journal of International Affairs.

The abstract reads:

Is strategic minilateralism a viable option for small powers? What role can a lesser power play in these minilateral groupings? Additionally, how does the ‘weak junior link’ contribute to and gain from the minilateral? To provide answers to these questions, following a review of the existing literature on minilateralism, we examine the potential role of the Philippines within the framework of strategic minilaterals. We argue that, despite its relative lack of material capabilities compared to other regional actors, factors such as a strong confluence of interests and threat proximity may compel the junior link to play an active role in the minilateral. This can ensure an alternative or complementary way to achieve foreign policy goals, while simultaneously lessening the effects of burdensome alliances. Empirically, we first explore the Philippines’ emerging preference for minilateralism. Second, we examine the evidence of recent movements toward a Japan-Philippine-U.S. trilateral pact. This will help investigate the role that a lesser power like the Philippines can play in utilising these minilateral groupings to achieve foreign policy goals, while at the same time securing the grouping’s success.

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