Hanna Samir Kassab, a visiting professor in Northern Michigan University’s political science department, will give a public presentation based on her book, Weak States in International Relations Theory: The Cases of Armenia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Lebanon and Cambodia.” The event will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, in 1322 Jamrich Hall. There is no admission charge.
Kassab analyzes weak state behavior and subsequent changes in great power grand strategy to argue that weak and vulnerable states can practice an unexpected degree of autonomy unfettered by great powers. Given systemic vulnerability stemming from underdevelopment, these weak states pursue welfare in order to survive; security is a secondary concern. Such non-threatening behavior allows weak states to conduct business with great powers at opposite ends of the balance of power, leading these powers to compete over small state support, especially within forums of global governance. The cases of Armenia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Lebanon and Cambodia illustrate the explanatory power of this progressive theory in international relations.