In this top group, countries are highly receptive to international norms, smoothly working to adapt their internal structures and external affairs to changes in the political or economic environment.
Sweden, Denmark and Ireland have focused most of their adaptation efforts on EU integration, with strong coordination of domestic activities with EU policies. Sweden took a leading role in pushing for international coordination during the financial crisis.
Australia has long sought close international relationships, with cooperation improving after the Labor government’s election win in 2007, resulting in Kyoto ratification and closer ties with China.
Obama took the USA in a more multilateral direction, but the nation is still slow to comply with international obligations. Canada’s active international participation has been marked by a series of controversial recent stances.
France and Germany’s leading roles in the economic crisis have been heavily influenced by domestic concerns. Showing the largest gains relative to the SGI 2009, Poland’s new government showed an increasingly constructive approach toward EU affairs, despite a recalcitrant and veto-wielding president.
In this group, countries engage actively in international forums and cooperative ventures, but transposition of agreements into domestic realities is often slow or incomplete.
Hungary, Portugal, the UK, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands all focus heavily on implementing EU policy, but with varying degrees of success. The UK’s euroskepticism is only partial, as it has taken a lead in issues such as financial reform and climate change.
Japan and South Korea are attentive to international norms, but changes are largely driven by domestic dynamics. Mexico participates eagerly in multilateral forums in part to escape its imbalanced bilateral relationship with the USA.
The Czech Republic made notable gains associated with its EU presidency, helping to deepen a strategic sense of EU engagement. Austria’s fragmented coalition system has made constructive adaptation more difficult.
In this bottom group, countries have prioritized domestic concerns over international adaptation, or domestic structural weaknesses have made effective adaptation difficult.
Chile remains in a modernization process, participating in international forums but focusing on domestic fiscal and political concerns. Switzerland has long sought to engage the EU bilaterally without membership, but this tactic is showing increasing weaknesses.
EU budgetary constraints have raised the profile of Italy’s finance ministry, but Berlusconi’s domestic rule-of-law problems have diminished the country’s value as a partner. Greece’s flawed institutional structure has made transposition of EU policy difficult.
Showing this criterion’s top decline relative to the SGI 2009, Slovakia showed significant reluctance to engage deeply with the EU or many of its other international partnerships.