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Centre for European Research

How do Small European States Prosper? The Relationship between Small States and Their Larger Neighbours

14 March 2017

Time: 1:00 - 2:00pm
Venue: QMUL, Mile End Campus, Arts One, 1.28

Hosted by the Centre for European Research and the Centre for Small States and funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

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Speaker: Professor Baldur Thorhallsson, Leverhulme Visiting Professor, School of Law, Centre for Small States at QMUL and University of Iceland

One of the best-supported assumptions in the international relations literature is that small countries need to form alliances and seek protection from larger neighboring states and/or international institutions. Small European states have generally sought shelter from the European Union and NATO. This lecture will discuss the shelter theory and explain how it differs from traditional alliance theories. The shelter theory claims that small states are fundamentally different units than large states and need political, economic and societal shelter provided by larger states and/or international organization. On the other hand, protection may come with a certain cost. The lecture will examine why the Baltic states have been eager to seek cover by the European Union and NATO while some of the Nordic states have been reluctant to join them and have important opt-outs from the E U.

Lunch will be provided.

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