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Title: Book review : Small states in world politics : The story of small state survival
Authors: Wivel, Anders
Keywords: Books -- Reviews
States, Small -- Foreign relations
States, Small -- History
National security -- History
World politics -- History
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: University of Malta. Islands and Small States Institute
Citation: Wivel, A. (2019). Book review : Small states in world politics: The story of small state survival, by M. Maass (Ed.). Small States & Territories, 2(2), 207-208.
Abstract: The study of small states has seen a revival since the end of the Cold War, but despite recent developments in our knowledge and understanding of small state politics, we know comparatively little about the historical context of present conditions and policies. As is the case of the study of politics and international relations in general, the study of small states is dominated by studies of the present and very recent past with little more than symbolic nods towards historical developments upon which present opportunities and challenges are based. In this context, Matthias Maass’s Small states in world politics. The story of small state survival 1648-2016 is a welcome and important contribution. In his highly ambitious book, Maass traces the history of small state survival from the inception of the modern states system by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 up until the present (2016). Defining small states as “units that are individually irrelevant to the states system” (p. 31), Maass draws on Classical and Structural Realism and English School-thinking to compose a broad theoretical framework. This framework allows him to emphasize the continued importance of power politics over the centuries, while detecting how changing norms on war and conquest transform the nature of power politics and therefore the conditions for small state survival.
Appears in Collections:SST Vol. 2, No. 2, November 2019
SST Vol. 2, No. 2, November 2019

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