Niche Diplomacy in the World Public Arena: the Global ‘Corners’ of Canada and Norway

  • Alan K. Henrikson
Part of the Studies in Diplomacy and International Relations book series (SID)


Niche diplomacy, although often associated with very small countries, has in fact been more fully developed by countries that have sufficient size and capacity to play notable roles on the international stage but that are not strong enough to impose their positions or solutions. They can sometimes exercise persuasive influence, but rarely deciding force. Even if not considered ‘middle powers’ in terms of military or other basic strength or in terms of international rank, they can sometimes play significant roles as intermediaries, as key providers of assistance, or in other precise ways. Very large powers too, it should be noted, may develop niche diplomatic and other particular capabilities. The difference is that great powers, unlike small or middle-sized countries, lack either the necessity or the incentive to do so. They can usually exert influence, as well as exercise power, across the board. Sometimes, however, even they fail, and have to defer to others — with less strength but, perhaps, even more favourable vantages.


Foreign Policy Small Country Foreign Affair Foreign Minister Soft Power 
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© Alan K. Henrikson 2005

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  • Alan K. Henrikson

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