Conclusions: Future Relevance and Priorities of Small States

  • Günther Baechler


When in May 1998 Ethiopia and Eritrea waged war against each other, it was a clear-cut situation: in a regional context a traditionally large, if not imperialist, power was fighting against a newly independent small state. Another example is anything but clear in terms of large vs. small: take a rather small European state, such as Belgium, which has a GNP comparable to that of all countries of large sub-Saharan Africa together (except the Republic of South Africa). In the case of Eritrea and Ethiopia, the classical „security dilemma“ between sovereign neighbor states which compare their military strength (yet in a crude way) is still working. In the latter case, historical, structural, and socioeconomic issues form the basis for comparing countries that are in a way not comparable at all. The question therefore arises: how to compare small and large countries to get a meaningful country weighting — worldwide and in the European context we are focusing on in this book?


Small State Large State Small Member European Security Negotiation Behavior 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

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  • Günther Baechler

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