Revolutionary States, Leaders, and Foreign Relations: A Comparative Study of China, Cuba, and Iran

By R. K. Ramazani; Houman A. Sadri | Go to book overview

2

NON-ALIGNMENT AS A FOREIGN POLICY STRATEGY

Revolutionary states always emphasize their autonomy in the policymaking process. Independent policymaking has been traditionally associated with the concept of non-alignment in developing countries, particularly revolutionary regimes. This concept is a contribution of the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) to international politics. In its thirty-five year history, NAM has never clearly and comprehensively defined this concept.

Some officials of lesser developed countries and some well-respected experts, however, have discounted the need for an authoritative and precise definition of non-alignment. Leo Mates, for example, maintained that there is virtue in not insisting on a single definition of the term. He argued that the traditional method of a common stand based upon a clearly written platform of a political community does not apply to non-alignment. He added: “All this is understandable, since the movement of the non-aligned countries is something new in international relations, not only because of a common platform, but also because of the form of cooperation among a large number of generally dissimilar countries.” 1

The response of one critic, M.S. Rajan, to this argument was:

The membership of the United Nations is even more diverse than that of the non-aligned movement, and yet the Preamble and the Purposes and Principles were considered essential to be incorporated in the U.N. Charter. Secondly, precisely because non-alignment is a new foreign policy choice, there is, a fortiori, a need for a definition of the policy; without a definition the new policy is likely to be (and it has in fact been) misunderstood and misrepresented from time to time in terms of the traditional foreign policy choices. 2

The lack of a clear definition for non-alignment by NAM is not due to a lack of interest but to unbridgeable differences among member states, especially

-17-

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Revolutionary States, Leaders, and Foreign Relations: A Comparative Study of China, Cuba, and Iran
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Typology and Terminology of Revolutions 9
  • 2 - Non-Alignment as a Foreign Policy Strategy 17
  • 3 - Chinese Foreign Relations, 1949-1959 35
  • Notes 58
  • 4 - Cuban Foreign Relations, 1959-1969 65
  • 5 - Iranian Foreign Relations, 1979-1989 87
  • 6 - Conclusion 115
  • Selected Bibliography 133
  • Index 141
  • About the Author 149
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