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Small State Influence in the European Union ‘Small State Smart State’?

Broman, Matilda LU (2005) Annual Meeting of International Studies Association, 2005
Abstract
Have small states become more influential in a complex multi-actor governance system, and are there special ways of exerting influence for small states in the EU? According to some scholars small states can become more influential in an international system where sovereignty is under challenge and large multilateral institutions – the EU being the most obvious example – are assuming greater importance. Based on literature about small states in international relations, literature about asymmetric negotiations, and more EU specific literature, I elaborate a theoretical framework and argue that a combination of, firstly, framing; secondly, supplying information within specific issue-areas (with the help of experts); thirdly, striving for... (More)
Have small states become more influential in a complex multi-actor governance system, and are there special ways of exerting influence for small states in the EU? According to some scholars small states can become more influential in an international system where sovereignty is under challenge and large multilateral institutions – the EU being the most obvious example – are assuming greater importance. Based on literature about small states in international relations, literature about asymmetric negotiations, and more EU specific literature, I elaborate a theoretical framework and argue that a combination of, firstly, framing; secondly, supplying information within specific issue-areas (with the help of experts); thirdly, striving for norm-compliance and acting as mediators (which is supposedly easier for smaller member states); and fourthly, using institutional opportunities within EU decision-making procedures, contribute to the influence capacity of smaller states. Hence, it is not size per se but the strategic actions of small states trying to promote national interests within an international organization that are interesting. Small states are not necessarily smarter but they have to act strategically – smart - in order to be influential. In addition, small states’ experiences as mediators and of negotiating from a weaker position create advantages that large states don’t have despite relative voting strength and more material resources.



Swedish experiences as Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers and in the transparency area, illustrate the theoretical argument in this paper. These experiences are compared with the French Presidency and French interests, opening up for a wider discussion about size, influence, framing, and political reputation in international cooperative arrangements. (Less)
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Annual Meeting of International Studies Association, 2005
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f55d3389-35ce-41e4-9d85-6c7eda99eee9 (old id 789895)
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2007-12-21 10:56:36
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@misc{f55d3389-35ce-41e4-9d85-6c7eda99eee9,
  abstract     = {Have small states become more influential in a complex multi-actor governance system, and are there special ways of exerting influence for small states in the EU? According to some scholars small states can become more influential in an international system where sovereignty is under challenge and large multilateral institutions – the EU being the most obvious example – are assuming greater importance. Based on literature about small states in international relations, literature about asymmetric negotiations, and more EU specific literature, I elaborate a theoretical framework and argue that a combination of, firstly, framing; secondly, supplying information within specific issue-areas (with the help of experts); thirdly, striving for norm-compliance and acting as mediators (which is supposedly easier for smaller member states); and fourthly, using institutional opportunities within EU decision-making procedures, contribute to the influence capacity of smaller states. Hence, it is not size per se but the strategic actions of small states trying to promote national interests within an international organization that are interesting. Small states are not necessarily smarter but they have to act strategically – smart - in order to be influential. In addition, small states’ experiences as mediators and of negotiating from a weaker position create advantages that large states don’t have despite relative voting strength and more material resources. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Swedish experiences as Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers and in the transparency area, illustrate the theoretical argument in this paper. These experiences are compared with the French Presidency and French interests, opening up for a wider discussion about size, influence, framing, and political reputation in international cooperative arrangements.},
  author       = {Broman, Matilda},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Small State Influence in the European Union ‘Small State Smart State’?},
  year         = {2005},
}