Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Small States and the European Union

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT European Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will be divided into two main sections. The first will deal with implications for small states in international relations which will focus mainly on how small states fare and cope in the international system both politically and economically. It will therefore cover topics such as dependency theory, security issues, alliance, neutrality and non-alignment, amongst others. Here our focus will be on small state vulnerabilities and how (and whether) such states manage to overcome them in their quest for more power and influence from a regional and international sphere.

The second section will focus solely on small states in the EU. We will mainly analyse the influence of small EU member states (but also the candidate, potential and EEA/EFTA states through student presentations) in each of the EU institutions and how they try to successfully influence and drive the EU policy-making process. Such questions like: do small states in the EU manage to influence effectively the EU policy-making process to their advantage? Do they have enough clout in the EU institutions to make their voice heard and do they punch above their weight?

Study-unit Structure:

1. Introduction
- Review of the course outline.
- Review of course methodology: Country profiles which will be the subject of student presentations as listed in the Annex.

2. Defining small states
3. Small state Power Theories
4. Small states in international relations
5. Economic aspects in the context of small states in international relations

6. Small states and the ESDP
7. The role of small states in the EU
8. Small states and the EU institutions
9. Conclusion – Main themes covered

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Students are urged to read the first textbooks indicated below (shaded area) in addition to other reading material that will be suggested from time to time. The literature listed below constitutes essential reading as well. On the web-site of the Commonwealth Secretariat students can locate material on small states which is relevant to the discussion. Information regarding the case studies, which will be analysed in this course is to be found in the government homepages of the countries indicated above.

Selected Texts:

- Christine Ingebritsen, Iver Neumann, Sieglinde Gstohl and Jessica Beyer (ed) (2006), Small States in International Relations, University of Washington Press (Seattle), University of Iceland Press Reykjavik ISBN 0-295-98524-0, (2006).
- Handel, Michael "Weak States in the International System", Frank Cass, 1990, ISBN 0 7146 4073.
- Hey Jeanne A. K. (ed) Small States in World Politics: Explaining Foreign Policy Behaviour, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003, ISBN 1-55587-943-8.

Other Useful texts:

- Pace Roderick, "Malta and EU Membership: Overcoming 'Vulnerabilities', Strengthening 'Resilience'" European Integration, Vol. 28, No. 1, 33-49, March 2006.
- Briguglio Lino and Kisanga Eliawony (eds), Economic Vulnerability and Resilience of Small States, Commonwealth Secretariat, London, 2004, ISBN 99909-49-22-0.
- Thorhallsson Baldur, Iceland and European Integration, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0-415-28252-7.
- Stefanou Constantin, Cyprus and the EU: The Road to Accession, Ashgate, 2005, ISBN 0-7546-2118-9.
- Bauwens, Werner; Clesse, Armand and Knudsen Olav F. (eds.), "Small States and the Security Challenge in the New Europe", Brassey's, 1996, ISBN 1-85753-153-1.
- "A Future for Small States: Overcoming Vulnerability", Report by a Commonwealth Advisory Group, Commonwealth Secretariat, August 1997.
- Pace, Roderick "Microstate Security in the Global System", Midsea Books, 2001.
- Thorhallsson, Baldur, "The Role of Small State in the EU", Ashgate, 2000.
- Pace, Roderick, "Small States and the Internal Balance of the European Union - The Perspective of Small States".
- Manners, Ian, "Small States and the Internal Balance of the European Union: Institutional Issues". Both chapters can be read in Gower Jackie and Redmond John (eds.), "Enlarging the European Union: The Way Forward", Ashgate Publishers, 2000.
- Worsely, Peter and Kitromilides, Paschalis, "Small States in the Modern World: The Conditions of Survival", SOGEK, Cyprus, 1989 (reprint).
- "Islands and Small States: Issues and Policies", World Development, Special Issue, 21, No 2, February 1993.
- Kaminarides, John; Briguglio, Lino and Hoogendonk, H. N. (eds.), "The Economic Development of Small Countries: Problems, Strategies and Policies", Eburon Publishers, Delft, The Netherlands, 1989.
- Shou, August and Bruntland Arne, Olav (eds.), "Small States in International Relations", Nobel Symposium, John Wiley and Sons, 1971.
- Clarke, Colin and Payne Tony (eds.), "Politics, Security and Development in Small States" Allen and Unwin, 1987.
- Prachowny, Martin F. J., "Macroeconomic Analysis for Small Open Economies", Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1984.
- Katzenstein, Peter J., "Small States in World Markets: Industrial Policy in Europe", Cornell University Press, 1985.
- Demas, William G., "The Economics of Development in Small Countries With Special Reference to the Caribbean", McGill University Press, 1965.
- Vital, David "The Inequality of States: A Study of the Small Power in International Relations", Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1967.
- Vital, David "The Survival of Small States: Studies in Small Power / Great Power Conflict", Oxford University Press, 1971.
- Baker Fox, Annette "The Power of Small States: Diplomacy in World War II", The University of Chicago Press, second impression, 1967.
- Rothstein, Robert L., "Alliances and Small Powers", Columbia University Press, 1968.
- Rothstein, Robert L., "The Weak in the World of the Strong", Columbia University Press, 1977.


- Bunse, S. (2009), ‘Small States and EU Governance – Leadership through the Council Presidency’, Palgrave Macmillan, UK.
- Ingebritsen, C. Neumann, I. Gstohl, S, and Beyer, J. (2006), ‘Small States in International Relations’, University of Washington Press, University of Iceland Press.
- Katzenstein, P.J. (1985), ‘Small States in World Markets’, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
- Keohane, R. (1969), ‘Lilliputians Dilemmas: Small States in International Politics’, International Organisation, Vol. 23(2), pp. 291-310.
- Magnette, P. And Nicolaidis, K. (2005), ‘Coping with the Lilliput Syndrome: Large vs Small Member States in the European Convention’, European Public Law, Vol. 11(1).
- Panke, D. (2010), ‘Small States in the European Union – Coping with Structural Disadvantages’, Ashgate, UK.
- Rothstein, R. (1968), ‘Alliances and Small Powers’, New York, London: Columbia University Press.
- Steinmetz, R. and Wivel, A. (2010), ‘Small States in Europe – Challenges and Opportunities’, Ashgate, UK.
- Thorhallson, B. (2000), ‘The role of small states in the EU’, Ashgate: Aldershot.

Useful web pages:

- World Bank Web page for small states :
- Islands and Small States Institute University of Malta :
- European Islands System of Links and Exchanges (EURISLES) :
- Small Islands Developing States Network (SIDS) :
- Pacific Islands Forum :
- Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) :

ADDITIONAL NOTES Students are required to register for Level 1 units if they are in Year 1, for Level 2 units if they are in Year 2 and for Level 3 units if they are in Year 3 or 4 of their course.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Jean Claude Cachia

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.