Small States in the Modern World

Small States in the Modern World

Vulnerabilities and Opportunities

Edited by Harald Baldersheim and Michael Keating

Small States in the Modern World comprehensively assesses the different modes of adaptation by small states in response to the security and economic vulnerabilities posed by global change. It uses a diverse collection of case studies to explore the complexities of change and to place them in their temporal and geographical context.

Preface: outline of the issues

Michael Keating

Subjects: politics and public policy, international politics, political economy, urban and regional studies, regional studies


Some 30 years ago Peter Katzenstein’s (1985) Small States in World Markets showed how, rather than disappearing under the effects of modernization and global change, some small states were not only surviving but thriving. This was a major challenge to received wisdom at the time, although Katzenstein’s sample was limited to a small number of European democracies practising corporatist modes of making public policy. During the 2000s there was a further wave of writing about small states, drawing on a wider set of cases. The collapse of the Soviet and Yugoslav unions had spawned new states, most of which were small. Singapore fascinated some; the New Zealand experience interested others. Some of these studies reliedon quantitative analyses of the relationship between size and economic success (Skilling 2012a). Alesina and Spoloare (2003) claimed to have found an inverse relationship between size and global free trade, with the size of states somehow adapting to global market imperatives.