|dc.description.abstract||Norms are standards of appropriate behaviour for actors and as such they do have a role in international politics. When norms are adopted by actors, they affect the actors’ policy behaviour, and consequently, the actors’ practices. Changing norms and policy practices of the actors in the system would result in changing the intersubjective knowledge of the actors and eventually the system. In international politics, small states are more inclined to international law and norms than great powers. Although realists and structuralists argue that small states need to behave according to great powers’ interests and small states are system-ineffectual, these arguments hold only to military power. In terms of economic power, small states have control over their success, while the power over opinion is not related to the size of the actors. Therefore, small states can influence global politics by intellectual leadership, norm-setting and norm entrepreneurship.
The thesis observes whether and to what extent New Zealand has been acting as norm entrepreneur in the policy areas of nuclear-free politics and promoting free trade. To regard an actor as norm entrepreneur in a policy area, the actor should have no authority over the addressees of the proposed norm, the actor should consider the norm as appropriate for others too, the extent and intensity of the conscious efforts to promote the norm internationally should be sufficient, the norm-promoting efforts should be performed during the emerging and cascade phases of the norm life-cycle, and the actor should behave consistently with the norm. According to these criteria, New Zealand has been a norm entrepreneur in nuclear-free policy since 1984. Concerning free-trade, New Zealand has also been a norm entrepreneur between 1984 and 2017. Both cases illustrate how small states can influence international politics. Based on the findings, small states’ domestic policies may have larger effects on world politics than their direct international advocacy, other states can ignore the advocacy and remain reluctant to modify their policy agendas.||