Engineering Influence: The Subtile Power of Small States in the CSCE/OSCE

  • Michael W. Mosser
Conference paper


The best-known theoretical works dealing with small states — either on their own in international relations or embedded within international organizations — have generally conceded the point that small states’ best security-preserving options are either to balance or bandwagon among the great powers in the system, serve as ‘buffer states’ between great powers, or rely on their strength in numbers in international organizations such as the United Nations to effect change.2 Even in the United Nations, however, with its defining principle of sovereign equality, small state influence still “...depends on their unity on major issues and the extent to which General Assembly resolutions...are perceived by the more powerful states to be meaningful expressions of the ‘general will’....”.3 Small states may have a numerical majority in international relations, but the advantage of numbers is cold comfort when it does not translate into power.


International Relation Small State International Affair Consensus Rule American Political Science Review 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

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  • Michael W. Mosser

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