Versita

LITHUANIA‘S PARTICIPATION IN THE RECONSTRUCTION PROCESS OF AFGHANISTAN: A CASE OF A SMALL STATE‘S ENGAGEMENT IN THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA

Ringailė Kuokštytė
Keywords: The theory of collective action, public goods, international socialization, international norms, the war on terror, the Afghan war ,

Abstract

Because the international arena is too focused on the interests of big states as structuring international interactions, small states continue to appear merely as objects (versus subjects) in the eyes of a large number of researchers, sometimes unconsciously following the (neo)realist tradition of International Relations (IR). Consequently, small states appear to be devoid of any analytical interest. In fact, such a trend in the field of IR neglects the significance of ever increasing interactions between states. Moreover, these interactions need not reflect incompatible interests of different states. The article argues that the case of the reconstruction process of Afghanistan, implemented by the international community, presents a positive-sum logic. In other words, the efforts of the coalition in the Afghan territory allow the engaged states, be they big or small, to pursue their own interests. The degree of their contributions corresponds to the benefits their engagement might provide. As the analysis of the Lithuanian case demonstrates, a small state need not be a passive object trapped in the interactions of powerful states and can arrange itself in order to proceed with actively pursuing its own foreign policy.