The primary objective of this partnership is to create a pan-European consortium of experts in small state studies that will train young teachers and researchers from International Relations and Political Science as well as other disciplines, such as Economics, Business, Public Administration and Law, in applying insights from small state studies to their research and teaching. This endeavour aims at promoting and encouraging small states studies within these disciplines as well expanding it into other fields.
Small state studies are a growing discipline within International Relations, where it is an increasingly accepted notion that in order to fully understand the intricate structure of the international community it is important to study all states – small and large. The discipline has clear cross-sectoral relevance with its focus on the specific challenges facing small states in all areas of public life. This strategic partnership, entitled Small States in Europe: Towards a Cross-Disciplinary Approach, creates a pan-European, cross-disciplinary, consortium of experts in the field of small state studies. It will expand the traditional scope of small state studies by targeting new disciplines and thus enhance the possibility for a wider understanding of small states, their capabilities, challenges and interests. This is especially important for European Union studies considering that the EU is a Union predominantly made up of small states. The teaching and research themes developed by the consortium are specifically created to address the common challenges facing small states in Europe today.
The consortium has developed four interlinked teaching and research themes (TRTs) that all have specifically targeted relevance to disciplines beyond the traditional focus of small state studies. These themes, focusing on contemporary challenges and opportunities of small states, are built on the specific expertise of the partners and jointly create new cross-border synergies fostering the interdisciplinary development of small state studies at the European level. Together they form an integral part of the objective of developing expertise in teaching in small state studies while moving the discipline forward into new fields. The TRTs are:
TRT 1: Small states: Foreign policy and economic security
TRT 2: Small states addressing the migration crisis
TRT 3: Small states in international law
TRT 4: Small states and the challenges of good governance
At the end of the project the consortium will have developed four new and innovative inter-disciplinary curricula in small state studies based on the four teaching and research themes.