Epilogue: Small state size is more than a capacity constraint

Godfrey Baldacchino, Jack Corbett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


This chapter offers a sober assessment of the case studies presented in this book and of their implications. State size still matters, but not in the ways often implicitly understood by neorealist theory, and small state size does not determine outcomes. Indeed, small states, singly or collectively, can clearly take advantage of system-level rules and norms to overcome size-related constraints. By labelling and castigating small states for their (actually typical) state size, the study of international relations and politics deflects its gaze away from the ordinary players and members of the contemporary international order. The field cannot continue to “explain away” and dismiss out of hand even the possibility that small states can act and that they can do so strategically to secure their interests. Nine principles to guide future research are also presented. They are designed to debunk the alleged truism that ‘the powerful will prevail’ and replace this with a more nuanced set of expectations that do not rest on a presumed ‘ideal’ state with all the characteristics that accompany largeness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Success of Small States in International Relations
Subtitle of host publicationMice that Roar?
EditorsGodfrey Baldacchino
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781003314745
ISBN (Print)9781032323787, 9781032323817
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameSmall State Studies

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