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      Small States and Regional Economic Integrations in the Multi-Polar World: Regional Differences in the Levels of Integration and Patterns of Small States' Vulnerability



            The contemporary world is a world of multi-polarity, signifying that US attempts to achieve hegemony have failed and there are no signs that this is likely to change in the near future. What about the position of small states, which by most of the widely accepted criteria comprise at between half and two thirds of all the world's states? Small states, because of their constraints, such as the size of population and/or economy are often considered more vulnerable to external pressures than mid-size or especially large states. What strategies should then small states pursue to assure their survival and increase their economic development and political influence? The responses of small states to multi-polarity in different regions of the world are different. In Europe, economic integration along with certain forms of political integration has been going on for more than six decades. In other parts of the world, in most cases, the integration has not developed beyond the level of free-trade area. It is the intention of this article to study the differences in small states' relation towards regional economic integrations in various regions of the world. The thesis that deeper economic integration contains the influence of large states (albeit only outside the integration itself) is then tested through comparative analysis of regional economic integrations' effects on small states in the various regions of the world.


            Author and article information

            World Review of Political Economy
            Pluto Journals
            Fall 2017
            : 8
            : 3
            : 317-348
            © 2017 World Association for Political Economy

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            Political economics
            small states,multi-polar world,regional economic integrations,the European Union


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