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Why small states offer important answers for large questions

Why small states offer important answers for large questions
Why small states offer important answers for large questions
Small states are conspicuously absent from mainstream comparative political science. There are a variety of reasons that underpin their marginal position in the established cannon, including their tiny populations, the fact that they are not considered “real” states, their supposedly insignificant role in international politics, and the absence of data. In this article, we argue that the discipline is much poorer for not seriously utilizing small states as case studies for larger questions. To illustrate this, we consider what the case study literature on politics in small states can offer to debates about democratization and decentralization, and we highlight that the inclusion of small states in various ways augments or challenges the existing literature in these fields. On this basis, we argue that far from being marginal or insignificant, the intellectual payoffs to the discipline of studying small states are potentially enormous, mainly because they have been overlooked for so long.
0010-4140
527-549
Veenendaal, Wouter
230cf0c6-70cb-465d-8664-2ec9798bcdb0
Corbett, Jack
ad651655-ac70-4072-a36f-92165e296ce2
Veenendaal, Wouter
230cf0c6-70cb-465d-8664-2ec9798bcdb0
Corbett, Jack
ad651655-ac70-4072-a36f-92165e296ce2

Veenendaal, Wouter and Corbett, Jack (2014) Why small states offer important answers for large questions. Comparative Political Studies, 48 (4), 527-549. (doi:10.1177/0010414014554687).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Small states are conspicuously absent from mainstream comparative political science. There are a variety of reasons that underpin their marginal position in the established cannon, including their tiny populations, the fact that they are not considered “real” states, their supposedly insignificant role in international politics, and the absence of data. In this article, we argue that the discipline is much poorer for not seriously utilizing small states as case studies for larger questions. To illustrate this, we consider what the case study literature on politics in small states can offer to debates about democratization and decentralization, and we highlight that the inclusion of small states in various ways augments or challenges the existing literature in these fields. On this basis, we argue that far from being marginal or insignificant, the intellectual payoffs to the discipline of studying small states are potentially enormous, mainly because they have been overlooked for so long.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 6 November 2014
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 388382
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/388382
ISSN: 0010-4140
PURE UUID: f933bfbf-9153-41a8-9a99-a36f300c691a
ORCID for Jack Corbett: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2005-7162

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Date deposited: 24 Feb 2016 13:28
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 02:11

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Contributors

Author: Wouter Veenendaal
Author: Jack Corbett ORCID iD

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