Handbook on the Politics of Small States
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Handbook on the Politics of Small States

Edited by Godfrey Baldacchino and Anders Wivel

Comprehensive and timely, this Handbook identifies the key characteristics, challenges and opportunities involved in the politics of small states across the globe today. Acknowledging the historical legacies behind these states, the chapters unpack the costs and benefits of different political models for small states.
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Chapter 2: Small states: surviving, perishing and proliferating through history

Matthias Maass


World history is, in part, also the history of the small state and its survival, perishing and proliferation. This chapter brings the small state back into the mainstream discourses of world affairs: past, present and future. After setting out definitional and temporal stages, this chapter proceeds chronologically. The exploration of the small state’s fate in the later seventeenth and in the eighteenth centuries is followed by an inquiry into the small states’ increasingly complex but also growingly supportive security environment of the twentieth century, the Cold War and the immediate post-Cold War. It concludes with a critical outlook on the current and likely future security environment in which small states survive.

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