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uni'wissen 1-2013_ENG

compromise, is determined by the foreign ministry. The ministries give their diplomats detailed instructions, tell them exactly how they should decide on a particular issue and what compro­ mises they are allowed to make in the negotiation phase.” The representatives cannot make deci­ sions on their own initiative and have to check back with their superiors repeatedly to ensure that they are making the right decision. The diplo­ mats of small countries, on the other hand, are often not bound to follow the orders of their for­ eign ministries because they are too small to even develop national positions on each and every resolution. They are therefore free to decide for themselves according to what they think is right. Making Convincing Arguments Small countries can also improve their bargaining position within the General Assembly by developing effective strategies: first, by setting clear priorities and not even trying to deal with all issues, and second, by teaming up with other countries to rally around the positions that are important to them. “Formal and informal net­ working and alliances can enable even smaller states to exert influence,” explains Panke. The fact is that most countries are not only members of the United Nations but also of regional organi­ zations and groups – such as the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Mercado Común del Cono Sur (MERCOSUR), or the Group of 77. Although these organizations do not have a vote in the General Assembly, they can develop common positions that their members can then advocate Prof. Dr. Diana Panke studied political science, public law, and business administration in Mann- heim. She then went on to complete a PhD with a study on the judicialization of the European Union and its effects on internal dynamics of interaction. While working on her disser- tation, she worked as a lecturer at the Institute of Political Science of the Uni- versity of Heidelberg and later at the Otto Suhr Insti- tute of Political Science of the Free University of Berlin. After completing her doctorate in 2007, she went to the University College Dublin, Ireland, as lecturer of political science, and in 2011 she was promoted to associate professor of political science. In 2012 she became the first holder of the new Chair of Gover- nance in Multilevel Sys- tems at the University of Freiburg. Photo: Nicolas Scherger Further Reading Panke, D. (in press): Unequal actors in equal­ izing institutions. Negotiations in the United Nations General Assembly. Houndmills. Panke, D. (2012): Dwarfs in international nego­ tiations. How small states make their voices heard. In: Cambridge Review of International Affairs 25/3, pp. 313–328. Panke, D. (2010): Small states in the European Union. Coping with structural disadvantages. Farnham. in accordance with their relative strength and bring to a vote. Whereas large groups can use their collective negotiating power, the influence of smaller groups is based on argumentative strategies. The latter might not have even remotely as many votes as the usually rather heterogeneous large groups, but if everything runs as it should, they can win over other nations for their cause. A concerted effort is their key to success. “Formal and informal networking and alliances can enable even smaller states to exert influence” Faster, freer, more flexible: Diplomats from small countries like São Tomé and Príncipe can often act more independently than their colleagues from large countries, whose foreign ministries dictate all decisions. Photo: Evan Schneider/UN 27