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Call for Papers
One or more Panels on “Small States in a Multi-polar World”
Organised by the Geopolitical Economy Research Group
At the Society for Socialist Studies Conference
May 31-June 3 2016 at the University of Calgary
We are living in an increasingly multi-polar world in which the struggle for power and dominance between the dominant and contender states shapes international processes, forces, and flows in determinate ways. The regional crises now threatening the stability of Eurasia, and the possible ways in which they may be resolved will be important indicators and tests of multi-polarity’s ability to maintain and promote stability, and some form of normality.
In an ever-changing World, what possibilities and opportunities are left for small states, which comprise between one third and half of the World’s states? Are the currently known and used strategies of bandwagoning and balancing still viable, and if they are, in what regions of the world? On the other hand, is integration into regional and other multilateral organizations the most appropriate way forward? In an era of increasing international interdependence, no country can be an island disconnected from the rest of the world and even small states are now firmly integrated into the international economy. When it comes to economic issues, small economies, like small states, are faced with different challenges than large economies, particularly connected with their lower ability to use the economies of scale, their more open economies, the small range of economic activities that generate most of their GDP, and their reliance on lower number of export products. All these characteristics make small economies, which in most cases are also small states, if defined by their population, an interesting object of study. The experiences of small states can be valuable for other countries but at the same time small states can be vulnerable. Papers may also discuss related issues such as climate change, migration, terrorism, governance issues etc. and analyse how small states are affected, why they are vulnerable and how their experiences can be beneficial globally, including for larger states.
We invite authors from social sciences, humanities and in inter-disciplinary studies to submit abstracts for the panel “Small States in a Multi-polar World” that would cover the following topics:
· The specific position of small states in alliances as well as in political and/or economic organizations in a multi-polar world;
· Differences between the position of small states located on continents, land locked small states and small island states;
· Regional particularities of small states, similarities and differences that derive from the regional position of small states;
· Special position of dependencies that could become small states if they achieve full sovereignty;
· Strategic importance of dependencies and/or military bases located on the key strategic points in the oceans, marine passageways and surrounding the Antarctica;
· Difficulties stemming from small states created from the break-up of larger ones;
· Governance issues and vulnerabilities in small states with small institutions and limited administrative capacity;
· Climate Change, Environmental Problems and Small Island States;
· Small States as “Migration Routes”, for example: from Middle East and Northern Africa to Europe;
· Small states’ strategies for survival, gaining influence and achieving development in an increasingly multi-polar world, such as bandwagoning, balancing, mutual cooperation (especially in regional and international organizations) and/or integration into political and economic associations of various kinds.
· And last but not least, the political economies of small states – whether they are ‘treasure islands’ or tourist destinations or some other – and their specific problems.
Abstracts should be up to 300 words. They should be single spaced and use 12 point Times New Roman font. They should be accompanied by the author or authors’ full name, affiliation, a brief biography, and e-mail address(es). We ask they be sent by 4 December 2015 to
Petar Kurečić: [email protected]
Radhika Desai: [email protected]