A state’s international bargaining position depends on its strategic importance, the character of the regime in control of the state, the personality and international standing of the leader, its economic resources and the extent of external control over them, and the alliances which the state makes with its neighbours and within the intergovernmental organisations to which it belongs. Virtually all Third World regimes have close links with the industrialised West, conservative and traditional regimes by choice and revolutionary regimes (which might in the past have gravitated towards the Soviet Union) out of military and economic need. The pull of the West is understandable: Western states (the United States particularly, and Western-dominated institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)) have the resources to assist in a way that the Soviet Union, with its shortage of foreign exchange, was never able to match; this was important for rulers who wished to survive — the state is the source of their own power and must be maintained. It is all the more important when no alternative global source of support is to be found.
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