Balancing and bandwagoning : explaining shifts in Sri Lankan foreign policy
Rajni Nayanthara Gamage
Date of Issue2017-03-28
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
The primary objective of this study is to determine why Sri Lankan foreign policy has shifted from balancing to bandwagoning, and then back again to balancing over four consecutive administrations from 1977-2015. In doing so, three central arguments are made within the context of Sri Lankan foreign policy: First, an interplay of system- and domestic-level factors explain this case study of small state foreign policy change. Second, domestic-level factors exert greater int1uence than system-level factors with regard to shifts in foreign economic policy. Finally, system-level factors have greater explanatory leverage than domestic-level factors with regard to shifts in foreign security policy. This study contributes to the neoclassical realist school of thought and the literature on small state foreign policy: By providing empirical evidence of shifts in Sri Lankan foreign policy which supports the argument that systemic factors tend to be primary where strategic issues are concerned, while domestic factors tend to be primary where non-strategic issues are concerned, this study further buttresses the hypothesis that there are distinct conditions under which neoclassical realism 's thesis is validated.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science