The paper examines the role of middle powers in the Asia-Pacific security architecture, by comparatively assessing the foreign policy strategies of Indonesia and South Korea. It seeks to enrich understandings of middle power diplomacy and behavior by examining two countries that lack great power capabilities but still aim to influence the regional security environment. The paper conceptualizes the notion of middle powers by distinguishing the functional and behavioral models and the strategies that could be employed by middle powers under each approach. It argues that the middle power strategies of Indonesia lean more toward the behavioral approach, while that of South Korea is predominantly functional. This divergence in middle power behavior derives predominantly from differences in the availability of resources as well as in strategic circumstances and interests. A comparative analysis highlights how such distinctions have influenced their respective impact on the regional security architecture.
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