SMPs are status-seeking actors, striving to enhance their international recognition and prestige as good international citizens. While it is important to identify the range of strategies that SMPs deploy to attain such status, it is equally important to examine the approaches that these states adopt after they have attained their desired status. Securing greater status will propel SMPs to adopt a more accommodative stance and cooperate with major powers to resolve differences over the negotiations. Through their enhanced status, SMPs will have an opportunity to directly influence negotiating outcomes and secure the stability of the system that is their fundamental goal. They are therefore unlikely to antagonise major players, especially if the latter are responsive to their preferences. SMPs may experience, however, the reverse situation and fail to strengthen or even retain their status, witnessing an erosion of influence. Loss of status will force SMPs to retreat to a Southern focus in their diplomacy in order to revitalise their primary basis of influence — which is their Southern leadership. Despite differing levels of success, these patterns of status-seeking behaviour reveal that SMPs are not altruistic agents, but they are aware of how prestige comprises their foremost asset in international politics and formulate their strategies with the aim of projecting their good international citizenship.
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