The latest edition to the Centre for Small State Studie´s publication
series is now available online. Tim Sveijs, a researcher at the Hague
Centre for Strategic Studies in the Netherlands and PhD student at the
Department of War Studies of King´s College, writes about the role of
small powers in the outbreak of great power war.
International politics is generally viewed as a game played by the great powers, in which the lesser powers have no substantial say. In trying to account for variation in the stability of the international system most of the academic literature focuses therefore exclusively on great powers… This study argues that two characteristics of the international system are essential: the tightness of alliance systems and the stability of the hierarchy.