Analyse: This thesis is an examination of the role of Islam in the formulation implementation and impact of Malaysian foreign policy under the most recent administration of that country. At issue is why Islam should have become relevant to the foreign policy priorities of Malaysia and how significant it has become over the past decade. At the heart of the thesis is a systematic attempt to link the foreign policy of that country to the goals of a specific administration within the domestic Malaysian context.
The thesis demonstrates, through an analysis of practice (measured against its proclaimations) that the Mahathir administration, in the period under review, has sought to employ a highly selective Islamic persona in its foreign relations in order to maintain control of the national political agenda within Malaysia and therefore a kind of ethnic balance as well, retaining Malay predominance, authority and legitimacy over that of its non-Malay constituents.
Whilst being a specific case-study, the thesis makes contributions to the wider academic study of the domestic functions of foreign policy and the intense relationship and interaction between the domestic and foreign contexts in the impact of policy particularly in the case of post-colonial developing states.