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  • Pivot, Hedger, or Partner: Strategies of Lesser Powers Caught between Hegemons

    Yu-Shan Wu

    Chapter from the book: Dittmer, L. 2017. Taiwan and China: Fitful Embrace.


    Squeezed by two great powers in competition, the medium and small countries between them have limited choices: pivot, hedger, and partner. Taiwan is one of the countries caught between the colliding titans and forced to adopt a position from the limited options. A similar structure is found in Eastern Europe where Russia collides with the West for dominance, and lesser powers there are forced to make decisions out of the same limited choices. This chapter first develops an analytical framework that combines the perspectives of rational choice of lesser powers and geopolitical fault lines. It then looks into Taiwan’s policy toward mainland China as an example of lesser country’s decision under great power competition. A cross-regional comparison is made with Ukraine. Finally, theoretical implications of the analysis are drawn from the above discussion.

    How to cite this chapter
    Wu, Y. 2017. Pivot, Hedger, or Partner: Strategies of Lesser Powers Caught between Hegemons. In: Dittmer, L (ed.), Taiwan and China. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.38.k

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    Additional Information

    Published on Oct. 3, 2017