Archer, Clive, Alyson J.K. Bailes and Anders Wivel (eds) (2014) Small states and international security: Europe and beyond (London: Routledge)
This book explains what ‘small’ states are and explores their current security challenges, in general terms and through specific examples. It reflects the shift from traditional security definitions emphasizing defence and armaments, to new security concerns such as economic, societal and environmental security where institutional cooperation looms larger. These complex issues, linked with traditional power relations and new types of actors, need to be tackled with due regard to democracy and good governance. Key policy challenges for small states are examined and applied in the regional case studies. The book deals mainly with the current experience and recent past of such states but also offers insights for their future policies. Although many of the states covered are European, the study also includes African, Caribbean and Asian small states. Their particular interest and relevance is outlined, as is the connection between their security challenges and their smallness. Policy lessons for other states are then sought. The book is the first in-depth, multi-continent study of security as an aspect of small state governance today. It is novel in placing the security dilemmas of small states in the context of wider ideas on international and institutional change, and in dealing with non-European states and regions.
Amstrup, Niels (1976) 'The perennial problem of small states: a survey of research efforts', Cooperation and Conflict, 11:2, 163–182
The survey points to the age-old European interest in the role of small states, almost ignored in the recent literature on small states. It is shown that the numerous attempts to define a small state have exclusively been concerned with defining an independent variable to the neglect of a dependent variable, viz. the behavior of small states. The studies on the security policy of small states and on their foreign economic relations are discussed. Other approaches to the study of small states in international relations are analyzed, including various quantitative attempts. In the conclusion some alternatives for further research are suggested.
Armstrong, Harvey W. and Robert Read (2003) 'The determinants of economic growth in small states', The Round Table, 92:368, 99–124 
This paper provides a critical survey of the principal theoretical issues and empirical findings relating to the analysis of the economic growth of small states. This analysis provides a brief critique of the inapplicability of the Lewis model of industrialization to small states. It draws upon insights derived from endogenous growth theory to demonstrate that growth in small states can be explained by the key 'conditioning' variables, notably openness to trade, human capital accumulation and location. Further, the impact of small size and 'islandness' are argued to play less significant roles than that generally ascribed to them in the literature. The findings provide useful policy lessons for other small states and developing countries.
Baehr, Peter R. (1975) 'Small states: a tool for analysis?', World Politics, 27:3, 456–466
The usefulness of the concept of “small states” as an analytical tool is discussed in a review of books by Edward Azar and Marshall Singer. The size of states has both domestic and international ramifications. Authors who use the concept of “small states” struggle with the problem of defining it. Such definitions can be clear and unambiguous but arbitrary at the same time; more sophisticated definitions are also more ambiguous and difficult to apply to concrete cases. Inquiry into the role of small states in international politics is shown to be still in a very elementary stage. Although there does of course exist a continuum of size of states in international relations, small states form too broad a category for purposes of analysis
Bailes, Alyson J. K., Bradley A. Thayer and Baldur Thorhallsson (2016) 'Alliance theory and alliance 'shelter': The complexities of small state alliance behaviour', Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 1:1, 9–26
This study critiques traditional alliance theory because it fails to capture the nuanced alliance motivation and needs of small states. We argue that the concept of alliance “shelter” better explains small state alignment. The theory of alliance shelter has been developed to explain the alliance choices of Western small states, including Iceland, and serves as an important addition to alliance theory. Shelter is the diplomatic, economic, societal, and political alignment response of structurally weak states. Alliance shelter theory differs from traditional alliance theories for the following reasons. First, it regards small states as fundamentally different political, economic, and social units than large states. Second, their alliance shelter relationships are distinctly shaped by domestic as much as international factors. Third, small states benefit disproportionately from international cooperation, including institutional membership, compared with large states. Fourth, shelter theory claims that small states/entities need political, economic, and societal shelter (as well as strategic protection) in order to thrive. Fifth, the social and cultural relationships of the small states with the outside world are elements that have been neglected by alliance theory. Sixth, shelter may also come at a significant cost for the small state/entity. We conduct a plausibility probe of our argument against three contemporary non-Western cases: Armenia, Cuba, and Singapore. We find that the concept of alliance shelter explains their alliance behavior better than traditional alliance theory.
Baker Fox, Annette (1959) The power of small states: Diplomacy in world war II (Chicago: University of Chicago Press)
During World War II, it was widely asserted that the day of the small power was over. Not only could such a state have no security under modern conditions of war; it could have no future in the peace that presumably one day would follow. This was a belief shared by respected students of world politics and by advocates of Lebensraum for the thousand-year Reich. Striking evidence that this view was exaggerated is found in the European theater of conflict; Sweden, Spain, Turkey, Switzerland, Erie, and Portugal all avoided being drawn into the war and emerged from it unwounded, and if anything stronger than before.
Baldacchino, Godfrey (2018) 'Mainstreaming the study of small states and territories', Small States & Territories, 1:1, 3–16
This paper introduces the field of small sovereign states and subnational jurisdictions, and the closing policy and identity gap between the two sets. It reviews the difficulties of iron- clad definitions of what constitutes a small state and looks at the potential for their qualitative (albeit relativistic) assessment. It then acknowledges the even richer population of subnational jurisdictions, some of which have powers that get very close to those wielded by sovereign states. Small States & Territories is then presented as a new academic, on line and open access journal that offers its critical space to mainstream and encourage inter-disciplinary debates featuring such small states and territories and how they handle the challenges and opportunities of small size and scale. By supporting a burgeoning field in area studies, Small States & Territories hopes to build and nourish an academic and policy community that will steadily militate against the current exceptionalism and exoticism of the field.

Baldacchino, Godfrey (2012) 'Governmentality is all the rage: the strategy games of small jurisdictions', The Round Table, 101:3, 235–251   

This paper discusses the contemporary sovereignty experience of small states and territories in the context of unfolding ‘strategy games’. This paper charts and illustrates some of the most salient issues over which this dynamic is played out, using binary (small state versus big state) relations as its analytic constituency. These practices are understood as part of the evolution of the conduct of government, or governmentality, as envisaged by Michel Foucault: states, no longer concerned with threats to their very existence, can flex their clout extra-territorially, and in so doing provide new and creative opportunities, but also raise threats, for the exercise of sovereignty.

Baldacchino, Godfrey and Geoffrey Bertram (2009) 'The beak of the finch: Insights into the economic development of small economies', The Round Table, 98:401, 141–160

Many scholarly analyses of small economies over the past two decades have been premised on the implicit understanding that a state's small population size, compounded by such factors as islandness and remoteness from markets, is to blame for an inherent and unavoidable economic vulnerability. The article critiques the core features of this approach, and proposes in turn to discuss and profile the development trajectories of small economies from the vantage point of the strategic flexibility used by small states (at multiple levels as individuals, household units, corporate entities and complete jurisdictions) in seeking to exploit opportunities and maximize economic gains in a turbulent and dynamic external environment with which they must engage. Keeping alive a portfolio of skills and revenue streams enables these actors to migrate inter-sectorally as well as trans-nationally.

Browning, Christopher S. (2006) 'Small, smart and salient? rethinking identity in the small states literature', Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 19:4, 669–684


The article adopts a critical perspective on the generally negative view in mainstream and cognitivist understandings of the power of small states and introduces a discursive approach. This focuses on how ‘smallness’ can also be told in more positive ways in the construction of state identities. Looking at the case of Finland, it is shown how smallness has been told differently at different times with specific implications flowing from these different readings as to the possibilities for action in foreign policy. More particularly, it is argued that smallness is being replaced by the marker of being smart and innovative, with some Finnish politicians arguing that in the current post-Cold-War world the framework of big–small is increasingly less relevant.

Calleya, Stephen. (2016). Developing states diplomacy. In Costas M. Constantinou, Pauline Kerr and Paul Sharp  (eds.) The SAGE handbook of diplomacy (pp. ___). SAGE.


This chapter examines the challenges small developing states are facing and identifies trends in  their  foreign  policy  decision-making  track  record.  The  fact  that  small  developing  countries have limited human and natural resources gives rise to numerous questions addressed in this analysis: what are the strategic mechanisms that small developing states employ?; what are the primary motivations that guide developing states diplomacy?; how do small developing states pursue their strategic objectives; how do small developing states prioritize their foreign policy objectives to remain relevant in the international society of states?  This chapter also includes a review of the evolution of Malta’s foreign policy, as an example of a developing state’s diplomatic practice.  The study concludes by exploring future options available to  developing  states  to  help  them  maintain a relevant  stance  in  an ever  changing international system, including focusing on multilateral diplomacy.

Coolsaet, Rik (2004) 'Small states in world politics: Explaining foreign policy behavior'. International Politics, 41:2, 284–286


Foreign policy by a small power can be dealt with succinctly: There is no such thing. Small nations are only props on the world stage, not independent actors, and thus of little interest to the student of world affairs. This remark by a Bismarckian theoretician of Great Politics is referenced in a book on Dutch foreign policy by Joris Voorhoeve, a former defense minister, but also a student of small power foreign policy. (He probably was referring to Henry Kissinger.) This suggestion reflects a largely held opinion amongst scholars of international relations, including some originating from small states. It is however possible to offer a different perspective, whereby foreign policy is considered a full political activity of states, great and small alike.

de Carvalho, Benjamin and Iver B. Neumann (eds) 2015) Small states and status seeking: Norway’s quest for international standing (London and New York: Routledge)

About this Book 

Status-seeking is an important aspect of the foreign policies of a number of small states, but one that has been rarely studied. This book aims to contribute to our understanding not only of status-seeking, by coming at that question from a new angle, that of a small state, but also to our understanding of foreign policy, by discussing the importance of status for foreign policy overall.

If status is a hierarchy, then it is important to focus not just on the highest-ranking powers, but also those at lower levels. As the distribution of power is becoming more diffuse, the role of small and medium powers becomes more significant than it was during the Cold war. The book chapters go beyond familiar explications of "soft power" or conflict resolution to highlight new aspects of Norway’s foreign policy, including contributions to national defense, global warming, and management of Arctic resources.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars in areas including US Foreign Policy, International Relations and European Politics.

Desch, Michael C. (1996) 'War and strong states, peace and weak states?' International Organization, 50:2, 237–268


For most of the twentieth century, international politics were dominated by World Wars I and II and by the cold war. This period of intense international security competition clearly strengthened states, increasing their scope and cohesion. However, the end of the cold war may represent a “threat trough”—a period of significantly reduced international security competition. If so, the scope and cohesion of many states may likewise change. Although this change will not be so great as to end the state or the states system, the state as we know it surely will change. Some states will disintegrate, many will cease growing in scope and may even shrink a little, and few will remain unaffected.

Gigleux, Victor (2016) 'Explaining the diversity of small states' foreign policies through role theory', Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 1:1, 27–45


This paper challenges the notion that small states adopt similar foreign policies. I argue that variations also exist within cases whereby small states have undergone significant foreign policy shifts. To explain these differences and variations, I develop a theoretical framework around the concept of national role which provides an insight into the social dimension of being a small state. It builds upon constructivist precepts, introduces agency and challenges the consensus assumption in the study of small states. The paper aims to offer the theoretical foundation for future empirical works and take the small state research in novel directions.


Gvalia, Giorgi, Bidzina Lebanidze and David S. Siroky (2019) 'Neoclassical realism and small states: Systemic constraints and domestic filters in Georgia's foreign policy', East European Politics, 35:1, 21–51

Unlike structural realism, neoclassical realism focuses on how the interaction between systemic and unit-level variables influences foreign policy. This article assesses neoclassical realism against two alternative accounts – balance of threat and economic dependence – to explain change in Georgia's foreign policy. While structural realism highlights how the external security environment shapes general tendencies in foreign policy, specific strategies depend largely on unit-level factors, specifically elite cohesion and state capacity. The analysis of primary sources and exclusive interviews with high-level policy-makers suggests that neoclassical realism affords a more nuanced and precise account of foreign policy change over time than structural realism.


Gvalia, Giorgi, David Siroky, Bidzina Lebanidze and Zurab Lashvili (2013) 'Thinking outside the bloc: explaining the foreign policies of small states', Security Studies, 22:1, 98–131


What explains change and continuity in the foreign policy behavior of small states? Given the proliferation of small states over the past century, this topic has received relatively little systematic attention. When researchers do focus on small states, the emphasis has been on external and international factors, and the primary conclusion has been that small states are more likely to bandwagon with threatening great powers than to balance against them. In this article, we suggest that state- and individual-level variables can play a greater role in explaining the foreign policy behavior of small states and that small states sometimes choose to balance rather than bandwagon, especially when elite ideology is deeply embedded in formulating foreign policy. We develop this claim in terms of elite ideas about the identity and purpose of the state and examine its plausibility using primary sources and exclusive interviews with the security and foreign policy elite in Georgia. We find that this approach offers a more plausible explanation for Georgia's otherwise puzzling foreign policy behavior than frameworks that focus on the international or regional system. Although Georgia may be the exception that proves the rule, it can advance an understanding of the conditions under which standard explanations of small-state foreign policy behavior may miss their predictive mark and when incorporating the role of elite ideas can provide additional explanatory leverage.

Ingebritsen, Christine, Iver Neumann, Sieglinde Gstöhl and Jessica Beyer (eds.) (2006) Small states in international relations (Seattle: University of Washington Press)

Book Description 

Smaller nations have a special place in the international system, with a striking capacity to defy the expectations of most observers and many prominent theories of international relations. This volume of classic essays highlights the ability of small states to counter power with superior commitment, to rely on tightly knit domestic institutions with a shared "ideology of social partnership," and to set agendas as "norm entrepreneurs." The volume is organized around themes such as how and why small states defy expectations of realist approaches to the study of power; the agenda-setting capacity of smaller powers in international society and in regional governance structures such as the European Union; and how small states and representatives from these societies play the role of norm entrepreneurs in world politics -- from the promotion of sustainable solutions to innovative humanitarian programs and policies..

Ingebritsen, Christine. (2002) 'Norm entrepreneurs: Scandinavia's role in world politics' Cooperation and Conflict 37:1, 11–23

Promising scholarship in international relations is challenging existing approaches by positing the independent effect of `norms' in world politics. This article identifies `Scandinavia' (in its broadest conception, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland) as a group of militarily weak, economically dependent, small states that deliberately act as `norm entrepreneurs' in global eco-politics, conflict resolution, and the provision of aid. Scandinavia's role in world politics today is to provide alternative models of engagement — referred to here as the exercise of `social power'.

Kakachia, Kornely, Salome Minesashvili and Levan Kakhishvili (2018) 'Change and continuity in the foreign policies of small states: Elite perceptions and Georgia's foreign policy towards Russia', Europe-Asia Studies, 70:5, 814–831


The 2012 parliamentary elections witnessed Georgia’s first peaceful post-independence transfer of power. Under Bidzina Ivanishvili, the government formed by the Georgian Dream Coalition significantly softened the harsh anti-Russia rhetoric of Saakashvili’s ‘National Movement’, launching a policy aimed at normalising relations with Russia. Such a shift of a steady, almost decade-long counter-Russian foreign policy resists explanation by structural theories on small states located in relatively stable external environments. Mapping discursive changes and employing a constructivist framework, we argue that distinct foreign policy visions are reflections of the differences between the identities of the two leadership camps.

Kakachia, Kornely and Salome Minesashvili (2015) 'Identity politics: Exploring Georgian foreign policy behavior', Journal of Eurasian Studies, 6:2, 171–180


This paper analyses the extent to which Georgia's pro-Western foreign policy orientation stems from ideas and identity rather than from materialist and systemic factors alone. Finding such narrow approaches insufficient for explaining small state behavior, and drawing on liberal and constructivist approaches to international relations theory, the article argues that Georgia's foreign policy orientation has a strong basis in the widespread ideological perception amongst the local political elite that Georgia “belongs” in the West. Based on this theoretical framework, this paper provides a historical overview of Georgia's foreign policy, tracing the evolution of Georgia's identity from seeing itself as “Christian” in contrast to its Islamic neighbors, to identifying as European in contrast to a modern, Russian “other”. As Georgia attempts to construct a collective international identity, the devotion to the idea of Euro-Atlantic integration as a “sacred destiny” amongst the country's elite has significant foreign policy implications. This article overviews the current challenges and dilemmas of self-identification and investigates the roles that national identity and the prevailing “European” identity play in Georgia's quest for “desovietization”.

Long, Tom. (2017) 'It's not the size, it's the relationship: from 'small states' to asymmetry', International Politics, 54:2, 144–160


Much time and enormous amount of academic effort has gone into defining small states and their position in world politics. This endeavor, sadly, has produced very little agreement. It is therefore time to reposition the discussion. I do so by arguing that the analysis of small states should move from a concentration on ‘smallness’ to looking in more detail at the relationships in which these states are engaged. IR scholars should therefore stop defining and re-defining the concept of ‘small state,’ quite literally setting it aside as an analytical category. This article advocates a whole-hearted embrace of a relational approach, replacing the analytical category of ‘small state’ with a new perspective and terminology. 

Maass, Matthias (2017) Small states in world politics (Manchester: Manchester University Press)


What is the story behind the paradoxical survival of small and weak states in a world of great powers and crude power politics? And what explains the dramatic rise and fall in the number of states overtime, following no consistent trend and not showing an immediately obvious direction or pattern? The answers lie at the system-level: Small states survival is shaped by the international states system. Small state survival and proliferation is determined first and foremost by features of and dynamics created at the states system. As the states system changes and evolves the chances for small states to survive or proliferate change as well. In fact, a quantitive investigation confirms this, showing that over the course of more than 3½ centuries, the number of small states did fluctuate widely and at times dramatically.

Maass, Matthias (2016) 'Small enough to fail: The structural irrelevance of the small state as cause of its elimination and proliferation since Westphalia', Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 29:4, 1303–1323


Since the Peace of Westphalia, few great powers have “died”, while the “death rate” and proliferation of small states has been dramatic at times. What causes these fluctuations? In this paper, I claim that the dominant reason for the extinction, emergence and proliferation of the small state over the last three and a half centuries is to be found at the system level. Ultimately, small state survival is determined by the particular set-up of the state system. I advance this argument from the perspective of international relations theory, integrating the relevant scholarship of the English School and realism, especially structural realism. The latter’s systemic perspective provides the basis for arguing that small states are structurally irrelevant. It is this feature of the small state, its irrelevance with regard to the power-based structure of the state system, which has caused the small state to “struggle for existence” in the past, and which has allowed small states to proliferate during the bipolar Cold War.

McSweeney, Bill (1987) 'Politics of neutrality: Focus on security for smaller nations', Security Dialogue, 18:1, 33–46


 Between politics and economics

For some forty years, neutrality as a sec- urity option for smaller nations has been out of fashion. Recent trends within the political and military establishments in Spain, Holland, Ireland, and within the peace movement in Britain have underlined the force of collective security within a military alliance as the legitimate and rational option for nations, large and small. The scope for deviating from this norm is limited to choices within a narrow range - from partial integration on the French model, through partial rejection on the Norwegian, to limited bilateral or trilateral agreements, along the lines of Japan, Au- stralia and New Zealand. Serious consid- eration of the feasibility of neutrality for non-Neutrals is not on the agenda.

Mellander, Maria and Hans Mouritzen (2016) 'Learning to assert themselves: Small states in asymmetrical dyads – two Scandinavian dogs barking at the Russian bear', Cooperation and Conflict, 51:4, 447–466


By measuring foreign policy assertion, we document that Danish and Swedish Russia policies have fluctuated widely in the 21st century, as well as in relation to each other. Specifically, big assertion leaps took place in 2002 (Denmark) and 2008 (Sweden). Having conceptualised and operationalised small state assertion, we proceed to the explanation of these leaps. The same factor turns out to be the efficient explanation in both cases: an individual policy-maker’s so-called ‘lesson of the past’ – what he believes ‘history teaches us’. It is shown how existing theory of lessons of the past can contribute to the understanding of small state assertion in asymmetrical dyads, but only if the proper permissive circumstances are identified. First and foremost these amount to the presence of a reasonable foreign policy action space.

Neumann, Iver Brynild and Sieglinde Gsthöl (2004) Lilliputians in gulliver's world? small states in international relations (Reykjavik: Centre for Small States Studies)


A social science that is worthy of its name must study the universe of its cases in its entirety. If the states system remains a key component of world politics, then the study of small states is simply part and parcel of what the discipline of International Relations (IR) is about. In this piece, we want to demonstrate the importance of studying small states in some detail. We start, in this Introduction, with an outline of justifications for small states’ studies and with some historical and conceptual observations on what “smallness” entails. In Section 2 we show how small states studies have developed. In Section 3 we suggest three different ways to conduct future research on small states which will benefit the broader IR discipline.  

Panke, Diana (2012) 'Dwarfs in international negotiations: how small states make their voices heard', Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 25:3, 313–328


Students of international relations interested in cooperation through international regimes and organizations very often devote their attention to the role of a few big states rather than the numerous small ones. Small states tend to possess fewer administrative and financial resources back home as well as smaller and less well-equipped delegations at the international negotiation table than big states. This can easily translate into difficulties in preparing positions for all items on the negotiation agenda and in developing negotiation strategies in great detail, which might inhibit small states from successfully influencing negotiation outcomes. Yet, since international negotiation often rest on a one-state, one-vote principle and since small states can adjust priorities and redirect their limited capacities, there is a window of opportunity for small states to turn into important international actors and achieve significant outcomes in international affairs. In order to systematically shed light on the role of small states in international negotiations, this article outlines the conceptual framework to answer the following question: How, and under which conditions, can small states successfully punch above their weight in international negotiations?

Steinmetz, Robert and Anders Wivel (2010) Small states in Europe: challenges and opportunities (London: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.)


The effects of recent institutional change within the European Union on small states have often been overlooked. This book offers an accessible, coherent and informative analysis of contemporary and future foreign policy challenges facing small states in Europe. Leading experts analyze the experiences of a number of small states including the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Iceland, Austria and Switzerland. Each account, written to a common template, explores the challenges and opportunities faced by each state as a consequence of EU integration, and how their behaviour regarding EU integration has been characterized. In particular, the contributors emphasize the importance of power politics, institutional dynamics and lessons of the past. Innovative and sophisticated, the study draws on the relational understanding of small states to emphasize the implications of institutional change at the European level for the smaller states and to explain how the foreign and European policies of small states in the region are affected by the European Union.

Thorhallsson, Baldur (2018) 'Studying small states: A review', Small States & Territories, 1:1, 17−34 


This essay provides an overview of the literature in the field of small states studies. It analyses the development of the discipline, and in particular how vulnerability and a lack of capacity – core concepts of the early small state literature – have dominated the discipline ever since. It also explores how realism, liberalism and constructivism respectively approach the study of small states. However, we also outline how the focus has over time slowly shifted from the challenges associated with smallness to opportunities. There is considerable literature across various disciplines that helps us to better understand small states in International Relations; but there remains a largely unexplored field of inquiry about small states which needs to be thoroughly examined and theorised. Studies of small states have never been as relevant as today, given the increasing number of small states and with many small territories that are potential candidates for independence. 

Thorhallsson, Baldur and Sverrir Steinsson (2017) 'Small state foreign policy', Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.484


Size matters in international relations. Owing to their unique vulnerabilities, small states have different needs, adopt different foreign policies, and have a harder time achieving favorable foreign policy outcomes than large states. Small states show a preference for multilateral organizations because they reduce the power asymmetry between states, decrease the transaction costs of diplomacy, and impose constraints on large states. Small state security policies vary widely depending on domestic and international conditions. Despite the inherent disadvantages to being small, small states can compensate for the imitations of their size and exert influence on world politics, provided that they use the appropriate strategies.

Thorhallsson, Baldur and Alyson J.K. Bailes (2016) 'Small state diplomacy' In Costas M. Constantinou, Pauline Kerr and Paul Sharp (eds) The SAGE Handbook of Diplomacy (London: SAGE), 294–307


Small States in the World System

Over half the member states of the United Nations are ‘small’ according to the simplest numerical yardstick (fewer than 10 million citizens), and to other, less simple, definitions addressed below. Moreover, a very high proportion of the smaller states have joined the UN after its inception, meaning that their sovereignty was recognized as part of the twentiethcentury process of de-colonization and/or after the dismantling of larger state entities. They are not only ‘small’ but ‘new’ states, and building up a national foreign policy and diplomatic apparatus has been a new challenge for them

Thucydides (1954) The history of the Peloponnesian war [Rex Warner, trans.] (New York: Penguin)

About the History of the Peloponnesian War

Written four hundred years before the birth of Christ, this detailed contemporary account of the struggle between Athens and Sparta stands an excellent chance of fulfilling the author’s ambitious claim that the work “was done to last forever.” The conflicts between the two empires over shipping, trade, and colonial expansion came to a head in 431 b.c. in Northern Greece, and the entire Greek world was plunged into 27 years of war. Thucydides applied a passion for accuracy and a contempt for myth and romance in compiling this exhaustively factual record of the disastrous conflict that eventually ended the Athenian empire.

Von Däniken, Franz (1998) 'Is the notion of small state still relevant?' In Laurent Goetschel (ed) Small states inside and outside the European Union, interests and policies (Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers), 43−49


Let me deal with this question first in a few introductory remarks, then turn to the definition of a small state. Based on the thesis that the political relevance of a country depends on its ability to cope with regional integration and international interdependence, I will ask if Switzerland should still be considered a small state. The contribution ends with some reflections on the remaining benefits of smallness.

Wivel, Anders. (2016) 'Living on the edge: Georgian foreign policy between the West and the rest', Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal 1:1, 92−109


This paper seeks to make three contributions to our understanding of small state foreign policy. First, the paper explains the foreign policy trajectory of one particular small state, Georgia, which has with limited success followed a foreign policy of inclusion into the West and its institutions. Second, the paper analyses how variations in statehood widen, narrow and transform the strategic options available to small states. Finally, the paper explores a number of small state foreign policy dilemmas and their consequences for policy success.



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