The Influence of Small States on Superpowers

The Influence of Small States on Superpowers

Jamaica and U.S. Foreign Policy

by Richard L. Bernal

456 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in

  • Paperback
  • 9789766406660
  • Published: September 2017


The dominant school of thought is that the foreign policies of large nations, are – with the exception of symbolic gestures and acts of ‘generosity’ – impervious to the policy priorities of small states. Jamaica, as a matter of historical fact, turns this theory on its head. Bernal, as Jamaica’s ambassador and key strategist, demonstrated a rare mastery of the subtleties, nuances and complexities of Washington, as revealed in the analysis and documentation in the book. He details the ways in which his small nation was able, between 1991 and 2001, to have an indisputable impact on the foreign policy of the world’s sole superpower. This work is an invaluable resource for policymakers, students of international relations, those intrigued by the often maze-like character of US foreign policy formulation, and those curious about the insights and skills that enabled Jamaica to have so clear an impact. Randall Robinson, Professor, Penn State University School of Law With the publication of The Influence of Small States on Superpowers, scholar-practitioner Richard L. Bernal burnishes his well-deserved reputation for being a leading observer of Washington’s great sausage factory: the unruly making of US foreign policy and the complex interplay among clashing domestic and varied foreign interests, most particularly with regard to non-crisis regions. Bernal brilliantly demonstrates his core thesis – that size need not matter, that ambition, brains, and strategy can carry the day – beyond a reasonable doubt.