Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Malta in International Relations

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT International Relations

DESCRIPTION This study-unit looks at the importance of Malta as a micro island state within the context of the international relations scenario. It commences by detailing the role she played in the politics of Empire prior to independence followed by Malta’s priorities in the international field post independence in 1964. It next focuses on how these priorities established the Island’s initial foreign policy objectives and how Malta attempted to fulfil them. These include the effect of the Cold War on Malta; the establishment of bilateral and multilateral relations with particular attention being devoted to the more important of these including Italy and Libya; the Island’s membership of international institutions including the OSCE and the role played by Malta in them; the change in Malta’s foreign policy post-1971 and the effects and results there from in the context of a new policy of non-alignment and neutrality, the Mediterraneanization of Malta’s foreign policy, followed by her membership of the EU and the reorientation of her foreign policy towards interaction within a supranational forum. The study-unit concludes but focusing on the present foreign policy priorities including, climate change and irregular migration.

At the end of the study-unit the learner will be exposed to the following specialised knowledge:

The role of small states in International Relations;
The methods used by small states to navigate the International Circuit;
Malta’s foreign policy dynamic and International relations developments and foci.

At the end of the study-unit the learner will have mastered the following skills:

An understanding of the needs of small states;
The skill to evaluate the methods and tools adopted by small states;
An understanding of how history, resources, locality, and regionality impact on foreign policy making.

At the end of the study-unit the learner will have acquired the responsibility and autonomy to:

Evaluate the roles of different regional players on the International relations circuit;
Understand the different needs of different players in I.R;
Understand how different facets of I.R. contribute towards foreign policy making.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of the study-unit the learner will be able to:

Sensitize the students to the perception, needs, and methods of small states;
Understand the importance of the balance of power equilibrium in I.R.;
Understand the importance of the Mediterranean in I.R.

Reading List:

Borg Saviour S. (ed), (1996) Malta and the Law of the Sea. A Vision and an Initiative, (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malta).

Malta’s Foreign Policy in the 90s: Its Evolution and Progress, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta.

Malta Review of Foreign Affairs: Special Issue, ‘The Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs ( 1997).

Mizzi Edgar, (1994) Malta in the Making 1962-1987.

Fenech Dominic, (2001) Mediterranean Regionality. Reprint from Malta: A Case Study in International Cross Currents.

Calleja S.,(1999) Navigating Regional Dynamics in The Post-Cold War World.

Ando S., (1997) Mediterranean Security and Human Rights After the Cold War.

Gauci. V.J. (2005) The Genesis of Malta’s Foreign Policy: A personal Account. Agenda, Malta.

Saliba, E., (2007) No, Honourable Minister, Malta.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation Yes 25%
Assignment Yes 75%

LECTURER/S Isabelle Calleja Ragonesi

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.