Security Strategies of Small States in a Changing World

Živilė Marija Vaicekauskaitė 1
  • 1 Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University

Abstract

How are small states adjusting to a changing security environment and managing tensions with greater powers in their neighbourhood? Much of the recent literature on small states spends a great deal of time examining challenges to small states and their security policies. Scholars offer several strategies that small states can employ to adjust to a changing security landscape. Small states have two broad options – to focus on their own defence posture, trying to keep their autonomy and stay neutral, or use different cooperative schemes – bandwagon with larger powers, form alliances against dominant powers, or seek shelter and develop hedging strategies. This article reviews survival strategies employed by small states and provides a basis to better understand the behaviour of small states in today’s contested security environment.

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