The study of foreign policy usually focuses on the foreign policy of strong states. It is less common to analyze the foreign policy of Third World countries, not only because Third World countries are regarded as too weak and vulnerable to be influential externally, but also because finding an appropriate theoretical framework for the study of foreign policy in Third World countries is an extremely complex task. Against this background, this paper has endeavoured to challenge these pessimistic perspectives by assessing the effectiveness of one of the approaches to the study of foreign policy, that is, the Role Approach, in analyzing foreign policy in Third World states. This critical assessment has skilfully explored that the Role Approach is a functional theoretical framework for the analysis of foreign policy in Third World countries that have recurrently endeavoured to play a range of roles at the international, regional and sub-regional levels.
Key words: The role approach, role perception (conception), role performance (conduct), foreign policy analysis, the study of foreign policy, Third World countries (states).
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