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 3: Small states: politics and policies

Dag Anckar


This chapter is about the initial regimes of small states. The initial regime concept stands for the set of political institutions that were established at the time of a state’s political independence. The findings suggest that the world’s smallest states clearly favoured democratic initial regimes as well as resisted authoritative regime types; it is also the case that small entities have outflanked larger systems when it comes to democratic regime stability and democratic regime endurance. It is a rather common belief that direct democracy is a regime form that is sensitive to differences in country size. Surprisingly, however, the use among microstates of direct democracy devices is restricted and random, the reason for this being, probably, that many small countries are former British colonies which at independence inherited a Westminster-styled dislike for direct devices.

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