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Singapore’s Diplomacy: Vulnerability into Strength

Author: Kishan Rana
Date: 2006

This has entailed involving other states in its well-being, constantly searching for ways to make itself relevant to the international community, through niche diplomacy and a proactive style. It has been creative in its use of regional diplomacy. It runs a relatively small network of embassies, with strong centralized control through its foreign ministry; it has economized on its scarce resource — skilled manpower — through extensive use of ‘non-resident ambassadors’. Poor accountability to publics, attrition of talent and gender inequality are among its few weaknesses. Some, but not all, of its methods are relevant to other small states.

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