Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies Major in European Studies

Subject Categories

International and Area Studies


College of Liberal Arts


International Studies

Thesis Adviser

Alfredo C. Robles, Jr.

Defense Panel Chair

Elaine C. Tolentino

Defense Panel Member

Cleo Anne A. Calimbahin
Charmaine Misalucha Willoughby


Middle powers have renewed calls to develop rapid reaction forces amid recent crises in the Central African Republic, Mali, and South Sudan. These are the very same states that created the Multinational Standby High Readiness Brigade (SHIRBRIG) in 1996 in response to the atrocities in Rwanda and Srebrenica. Unfortunately, the middle powers failed to implement it and SHIRBRIG closed down a decade later. Despite this failure, much of what has been written on middle powers simply assume that they successfully contribute to human security. Similarly, previous studies on rapid reaction force, in general, and SHIRBRIG, in particular, lack a theoretical examination, merely identifying lessons learned and offering policy recommendations. This study aims to address these deficiencies by adding an empirical component to contemporary research on middle powers and, at the same time, embedding the discussion on rapid reaction within a theoretical framework. The thesis argues that middle powers were only successful in creating a rapid reaction force for the United Nations but not in providing the material capabilities to implement the initiative. To prove this hypothesis, the study uses Ronald M. Behringer’s conceptualization of middle power theory, which posits that middle powers use the concept of human security to design instruments and strategies that address contemporary security challenges. The thesis offers a more nuanced understanding of the contributions of middle powers in the post-Cold War period and further explores the usefulness of a rapid reaction force as an instrument for the maintenance of international peace and security.

Abstract Format






Physical Description

143 leaves


Middle powers; Human security

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