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Title: Book review : Democracy in small states : persisting against all odds
Authors: Thorhallsson, Baldur
Rodrigues Sanches, Edalina
Baldacchino, Godfrey
Keywords: Books -- Reviews
States, Small -- Politics and government
States, Small -- Foreign relations
Issue Date: 2018-11
Publisher: University of Malta. Islands and Small States Institute
Citation: Thorhallsson, B., Rodrigues Sanches, E., & Baldacchino, G. (2018). Book review : Democracy in small states: persisting against all odds, by J. Corbett, & W. Veenendaal. Small States & Territories, 1(2), 213-218.
Abstract: The book provides a thorough analysis of a neglected field in political science, small state studies and international relations. I purposefully include international relations due to the wide scope of this research encompassing all parts of the world. This book is theoretically rich. The authors provide a comprehensive overview of the established literature and use it to examine their cases. At the same time, they engage in theory-building. I would also argue that the book is radical. It offers a powerful challenge to the existing precepts of democratisation theory. The authors do so by arguing that small states are exceptional and that is not enough to study or collect information about formal institutional setups and rules. They challenge the standard theoretical explanations that economic growth, cultural diversity, colonial legacy and institutional design, the presence of an institutionalized party system and geographic location have explanatory power when it comes to explaining why small states are more democratic than large states. These variables, according to the authors, explain neither the democratic successes nor failures, according to the findings.
Description: The three reviews of this book appearing here were presented at its launch, held at the Centre for Small State Studies, Queen Mary’s University of London, UK, on 18th October 2018.
Appears in Collections:SST Vol. 1, No. 2, November 2018
SST Vol. 1, No. 2, November 2018

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