STATES, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS.

AuthorRabel, Roberto

STATES, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS

Editors: Lucyna Czechowska, Andriy Tyushka, Agata Domachowska, Karolina Gawron-Tabor and Joanna PiechowiakLamparska

Published by: Edward Edgar, Cheltenham, 2019, 548pp, 25 [pounds sterling] (e-book).

This book is not for the faint-hearted. Its more than 500 pages comprehensively describe, analyse and assess so-called strategic partnerships as a category of international political interaction. Although a proliferating feature of contemporary international relations, strategic partnerships are not widely known outside diplomatic and academic circles. Few New Zealanders, for instance, would be aware of our country's such partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)--one of this volume's fourteen case studies. Given their low public profile, do strategic partnerships matter?

The editors and contributors to this work argue forcefully that they do, representing 'a new form of sustainable international cooperation in times of globalized interdependence and turbulence'. Beginning with an overview of strategic partnerships and the current state of scholarship on the phenomenon, the editors highlight the haziness and inherent confusion accompanying this concept in international relations literature. They identify a (non-exhaustive) list of twenty constitutive features of strategic partnership that have been used by scholars in inconsistently overlapping ways, noting there is little sense of why these features appear and which are more important. Accordingly, their study seeks to address a perceived gap in the scholarly literature by setting strategic partnerships in theoretical context and then analysing them in their extensive empirical variety. As they put it in a sentence exemplary of the book's prose style, 'Whereas we develop in what follows a synergetic theoretical framework--a realist/constructivist synthesis --for the analysis of strategic partnerships between states and international organisations, with an articulated ontological standing as well as a model-driven epistemology and methodology, we (so far) stop short of producing a meta-theoretical account'.

The book is centred around the editors' Strategic Partnership between a State and an International Organisation (SPaSIO) Model, which they explain in full statistical detail--replete with equations. Using this model, they test five hypotheses linking the likely success of strategic partnerships to levels...

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