Global History and the History of Small States: Research Agendas for the Integration of a Marginalized Field of Study
Panel im Rahmen des Sixth European Congress on World and Global History, der vom 15. bis 19. Juni 2021 online durchgeführt wurde.
The section discusses the possibilities to integrate a hitherto almost completely marginalized field of historical research into the perspectives of global history: the history of small and very small states. Above all a product of the Cold War, small states studies have hardly transcended the disciplinary sphere of political sciences and have lost a considerable part of its scholarly attention in the last decades. In historiography, particularly the study of very small states has mainly taken place within the realm of rather selfsufficient, not to say parochial, versions of national history. Systematic, broad-based contributions to the questions what small and very small states have been and what smallness has meant for a country and its society are largely lacking. The long tradition of equating smallness with weakness and of questioning the capability of small and very small states to survive notwithstanding, their number has grown in the last decades. For many social actors, small small states have represented an attractive form of political organization – also in the context of processes of globalization. Representing a minority within the state system, small and very small states have specifically been subject to the interplay of integration and exclusion at the level of international politics. The relative scarcity of crucial resources has borne the risk for these states to fall victim to the disregard of their interests and the imposition of other states’ will. At the same time, due to this peripheral position and the fact that they have in many instances been unable to perform the whole array of public tasks on their own, particularly very small states have in a large measure depended on alliances, cooperation, and outsourcings.
Panel: Global History and the History of Small States: Research Agendas for the Integration of a Marginalized Field of Study