Future Projects - Academy of Brunei Studies

2. UBD, Title: Brunei’s pragmatic development focused international relations, (with Principal Investigator, Dr Stephen C Druce).


While multilateral relations through membership of international bodies, such as the UN, ASEAN, OIC, have aided Brunei’s success as small state on the international arena, bilateral ties and pragmatism have been the most evident and productive methods employed by Brunei in international relations and foreign policy. This pragmatism has been particularly evident since the early 1990’s when Brunei began to break with a ‘colonialist’ policy and established bilateral ties based on economic partnerships that were linked to the need to diversify its economy, particularly with the Northeast Asian counties of China, Japan and South Korea. In recent years, a major economic partnership has been developed with China. The idea of pragmatism together ‘non-interference’ and ‘neutrality’ have also influenced Brunei foreign policy in relation to successfully resolving potential conflicts and overlapping territorial claims or disputes. The main aim of the proposed research is to explore the role of pragmatism in Brunei’s international relations and foreign policy, particularly in relation to economic partnerships and diversification and how this relates to Brunei’s 2035 vision, and the possible future implications this may have for the country both regionally and internationally.