European Micro-States as Disfunctional States in the International System: A Theory of Disfunctionality

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This study is concerned with European micro-states and their continual survival in the international system. Micro-states are sovereign states with populations up to one million people. The study of micro-states is much neglected within the discipline of International Relations and yet there are a wide number of very small states in the contemporary international system. The existence of micro-states raises a number of serious questions involving the granting of statehood, recognition of sovereignty and the ability of micro-states to maintain their presence in the international system.

This study begins with some background into small state theories, writings on micro-states and debates concerning sovereignty. It is argued that being sovereign members of the international system does not fully explain the extantism of the micro-states but that a functional account can. A theory of disfunctionality is outlined prior to a review of empirical evidence in support of this framework.

It is argued that a functional account of the state is central to the survival of European micro-states. In particular, it is suggested that micro-states ‘contract-out’ important state functions to others in the international system to ensure their continued survival. From this proposition, a theory of disfunctionality is outlined. This theory incorporates a functional matrix of statehood, the impact of small size upon states, dependency upon others and that the logic of appropriateness is in play for the micro-states.

The conclusion indicates that it is possible to identify three types of states in the contemporary system: functional states, dysfunctional states and non-function states. The final part of the study also suggests that the question of statehood is somewhat erratic and that a proliferation of micro-states may be expected in the 21st century.

Table of Contents

Preface/List of Diagrams and Tables
Chapter One: Introduction
An outline of the argument behind disfunctionality
Problems and issues with disfunctionality
International Law, self-determination and the question of size
Research outline
Chapter Two: Background to the study, Literature review and review of theoretical and analytical issues
Small states and small state theories
The literature on micro states
Classical conceptions of sovereignty and the states
Contemporary debates about sovereignty and the state
Theoretical and analytical challenges
Theoretical origins
Using the qualitative approach
Chapter three: The Sovereignty of the European micro-states
Sovereignty versus anarchy
Types of sovereignty
Domestic sovereignty of the European micro-states
‘Capacity to act’ versus ‘sovereignty’
Functions of the states
Chapter Four: Dynamics and other factors involved in the theory of Disfunctionality
Contracting out state functions
Being dependent upon others
Micro-states and relations with their neighbouring states
Membership of international organisations
Other issues involving disfunctionality
Chapter Five: Case study, The Principality of Monaco
A brief historical overview of Monaco
State function: military-defence
State function: membership of the international system
State function: economics
State function: internal order
State function: infrastructure-communications
Sate function: nation-sustaining
Why does France act as surety for Monaco?
Chapter Six: Case study, The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
A brief historical overview of Luxembourg
State function: military-defence
State function: membership of the international system
State function: economics
State function: internal order
State function: infrastructure – communications
State functions: nation sustaining
Why does the EU act as surety for Luxembourg?
Chapter Seven: Conclusions
Functional, dysfunctional and non-functioning states
Micro-states as dysfunctional states or ‘unlike’ states in international politics
Disfunctionality and the neo-synthesis
The principality of Monaco and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Further research questions
Appendix A:Research notes
Appendix B: Background notes on European micro-states
Appendix C: European micro-states and membership of international organisations

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