Small States and the New Security Environment (SSANSE)

Neringa Bladaitė
Živilė Marija Vaicekauskaitė

Project idea

The SSANSE project is a preparedness initiative examining the defence and foreign policy choices and challenges of small states in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and Oceania in the new security environment. Small states make up half of the membership of the United Nations. Small states may be small in population and territory, but they have frequently had a disproportionate effect on global politics and they are more often affected by global shifts in power. SSANSE will extend theoretical debates on the role of small states in the changing international system as well as on the issue of how states manage their relations between the major powers in the new security environment.

The SSANSE research team will:
- produce a set of policy-relevant, theoretically-informed research in the form of policy briefs, op eds, and academic papers on the foreign policy choices and challenges of small states as they face the new security environment; project directors will organise a conference and workshop for project participants in New Zealand; an international conference for small states specialists in Iceland; and a half-day seminar for policymakers and diplomats in Washington D.C. on these themes; and edit two books which will collate the findings of the international research team.
- engage with and contribute to existing literature on small states in the international system.
- deepen local and international awareness of the range and depth of small state foreign affairs, defence, and strategic interests in the new security environment.
- train a cohort of young researchers so they can use this knowledge as a stepping-stone to careers in diplomacy, defence, and academia.

Participating institutions

University of Iceland, University of Canterbury, Vilnius University, Georgetown University