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This Is an inquiry into how the governments of small and militarily weak states can resist the strong pressure of great powers even in crisis periods. The continued existence and, in deed, startling increase in the number of small states may seem paradoxical in the age of superpowers and the drastically altered ratio of military strength between them and the rest of the world. It is well known that the ability to use violence does not alone determine the course of world politics. Some of the other determinants can be observed with exceptional clarity in the diplomacy of the small ...
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Much of the discussion surrounding small states has treated them as a discrete category, with common vulnerabilities and opportunities. However, a productive approach is to look at the global politics of development, and then see where small states fit in. The author looks in turn at the global politics of finance, trade and the environment. He concludes that small states have been largely unsuccessful in asserting their own interests in global politics, and that (to the extent that it is possible to generalize about states which differ greatly) vulnerabilities rather than opportunities are th...
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The Diplomacies of New Small States: The case of Slovenia with some comparison(s) from the Baltics
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The proliferation of small states in the past few decades has brought small and larger states on the same playing field. Their increase in number triggered a wave of studies, raised concern by 'realists' and some powerful states, and led to an affirmation that at the United Nations, all states are equal, regardless of size.
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There is no evidence that the vigorous political action needed to implement the recommendations of previous reports on the vulnerability of small states in the Commonwealth will be forthcoming in the near future. In matters of security, economics and particularly the environment, the collective interests of small states do not appear to have been recognized in the international community. Major donors find dealing with small individual demands from multiple small states difficult, but a regional approach simplifies matters and should be the primary area of concern. The Vulnerability Index prov...
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Graduating from least developed country to middle income country status: A trap for small island developing states?
SIDS tends to perform particularly well with regards to their socio-economic achievements and development endeavours. As a result, several SIDS graduate from their Least Development Country status to Middle-Income Country status. This graduation implies that SIDS are much better-off economically and can do without the special treatments and benefits in terms of Overseas Development Assistance that they were receiving as an LDC. However, and this is the thrust of the argument in this paper, this is not the case at all. The support was and is crucial to SIDS. After all, it was the catalyst which...
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Dr George Vella, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta, argues that persuasion is central not only to diplomacy but also to society in general. He highlights three aspects of persuasion. First is the high importance of trust for persuasion: trust creates the context in which persuasion can be used.
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The 'essentially contested concept' of security is analysed, and some main kinds of ambiguity and dimensions outlined: level, kind of threat and kind of defence. Discourses on security, particularly of small nations, must avoid being trapped into dealing only with one level (national, which in practice normally means state), one kind of threat (military) and one kind of defence (again military). There is no clear relation between kind of alignment and military expenditures, but non-aligned states are overrepresented both among the very high armers and among the very low armers. Increasing gaps...
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In the 21st century, new kinds of challenges resulting from interdependence among states and globalisation have had a determining impact of the conduct of diplomacy. Diplomacy has become multifaceted, pluri-directional, volatile and intensive, due to the increased complexity in terms of actors, dialogues subjects, modes of communication, and plurality of objectives. This unique text, written by a leading scholar and Foreign Service expert, examines all such factors to provide the definitive guide to diplomacy as it is practiced today. With a multitude of examples from around the world, includi...
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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...
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The current world geopolitical configuration shows how after the end of a bipolar world set by the top superpowers (United States and the Ex Soviet Republic) along with other major players (such as Germany, Great Britain, France, Japan and China, the P5 United Nations Security Council members + 1 with the full capacity of veto power in all world top decisions and procedures) set up a new world reconfiguration that has emerged since the end of the twenty century and mainly in the beginning of this 21th century standing driven from some centers of power and in parasailed with the political and e...
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The concept of applying branding principles and strategies to nation states has been around for decades. However, in recent years, the concept has occupied prime attention in academia and the business sector.
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This article examines the pressing security concerns of microstates, particularly against the backdrop of recurring themes of vulnerability in the literature. It reviews those arguments in the early years of decolonization which expressed scepticism about the prospects for independence in such very small dependencies given their lack of defensive capacity and the geopolitical risks which they face in a potentially dangerous external milieu. The article argues that these doubts and concerns have not been realised in the actual experience of microstates particularly in terms of conventional thre...
Engineering Influence: The Subtile Power of Small States in the CSCE/OSCE
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The game of International Peace and Security has for a long time been one played only by the great powers, leading to the singling out of small states in its deliberations. These states would create their own rules and be their own referees, whilst the existing small states would conduct themselves as mere spectators. However, following the effects of the end of the two World Wars, the creation of the UN and decolonization, the role of small states in the maintenance of international peace and security has gathered new responsibilities and in consequence it has made them important agents and m...
The changing phases of diplomacy in a Small Island Developing State: A case study of the Kingdom of Tonga
Diplomacy is an integral tool of communication utilised by nations as a means to achieve their intended interest and goals. The foundations and mode of diplomacy practiced by nations differs according to their circumstances. For Small Island Developing States who differ in size, economy, location, resources, the use of diplomacy has become a vital tool for survival.
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Small island states in the face of climatic change: The end of the line in international environmental responsibility
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Globalization and Governance: Essays on the Challenges for Small States
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Diplo: Effective and inclusive diplomacy
Diplo is a non-profit foundation established by the governments of Malta and Switzerland. Diplo works to increase the role of small and developing states, and to improve global governance and international policy development.
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