- No clear-cut definition of what constitutes a small state; definitions
- Qualitative definitions encompass the intrinsic physical/geographical
characteristics of small states, degree of insularity, vulnerability, etc.
- Quantitative definitions include land area, population size, gross
national product, per capita income .
- The number of small countries has been steadily increasing.
- In 1998, 87 countries had populations of less than five million; 58 had
less than 2.5 million; 35 had less than 500,000.
- Commonwealth definition classifies small states as those with 2.5 million
people or less.
are the types of small states?
- Successful small states
- Developing small states
- Vulnerable small states
Where are they located?
- Central America
- Southeast and Central Europe
- European Union
- Indian ocean
- Middle East
- South Pacific
Why has the subject of small states emerged now?
- End of cold war spawned new relationships, new strategies, new national
- Globalization has placed mounting pressures on the ability of small
states to manage their trade, economic and political relationships
- Analysts of IR interested in examining different perspectives, focusing
on the roles of women, moving beyond the vantage of superpowers and
- International trade liberalization reducing the need for large domestic
Are certain political problems particular to small states?
- Historical "lessons" of small states in the 20th century,
e.g. the Benelux countries, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Singapore
- Domination by a superpower or aggressive neighbor
- Fragmentation and instability, e.g. the Balkans,
former Soviet Union
What are some of the political strategies used by small states?
- Small-small and small-large alliances
- Regional alliances
- Multilateral alliances
- Security arrangements for small states
- Bottom-up globalization, e.g. the Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice
What are some of the economic, investment, and trade issues facing small
- Debates about a minimum "right size" for national economic
survival and growth
- Linked international financial markets increasing states' vulnerabilities
and openness to external economic shocks
- EU's African, Caribbean, and Pacific trade preferences being challenged
in the World Trade Organization
Can small states make themselves competitive internationally by being on
the cutting edge of new fields?
- Genetic medical research, e.g. Iceland
- Telecommunications and information technology, e.g. Finland and
- How smaller economies make the transition from commodity-producing roles
to service-selling roles
What situations pose special risks to small states?
- The challenge of sustainable development
- Large market fluctuation and currency crises
- Humanitarian disasters
what kinds of solutions are being discussed to address investment and
risks to small states?
- Regional stock exchanges as a strategy for attracting investment
- Capital pools and property insurance
What are the issues surrounding culture, ethnicity, and identity
construction in small states?
- Preserving identity within larger unions, e.g. the European Union,
Economic community of West African States, Association of South East Asian
- Intercultural vs. regional identity
- The effects of "creolization" on the national social and
- The impact of artistic movements and aesthetic values on the state
- International sports as a leveler for small states
What are the relevant themes an trends of literary and artistic
- Cosmopolitanism in small states
- Multiculturalism vs. pluralism
- Should artistic examination start with the "margins" in order
to analyze the level of alienation, or should it begin with the dominant culture
and look outward?
How do small states' film industries contribute to the creation of the
- Globalization and linguistic autonomy
- Filmmakers' images that inform and are informed by the notion of
What are the types of diplomacy used most effectively by small states?
- Quiet diplomacy vs. protest diplomacy
- Group diplomacy vs. niche diplomacy
- Diasporic diplomacy vs. multicultural diplomacy
- Enterprise diplomacy vs. regulatory diplomacy
- Summit diplomacy vs. cyber diplomacy
- UN conference on the sustainable development of small island states
How--if at all--can citizens of small states affect global governance?
- Links between local and global governance institutions
- Transnational civil society