Vlog: Matthew Crandall – What Does the Changing World Order Mean for Small States?
Matthew Crandall from Tallinn University School of Governance, Law and Society discusses the impact of the changing world order on smaller states.
What does the changing world order mean for the small states?
We live in a world order that was created in the aftermath of the World War II. The institutsions and the foundation of that world order are changing. The rising China, Brexit and the recent election of Donald Trump in the United States are some of the first things that come to mind that typify the changing world order.
That change can best be understood as an erosion of legitimacy in western based multi-lateral institutions. Western states like the USA and the UK are placing more of a focus on a bilateral relations instead of multilateral relations. Non-Western powers are increasing and their influence and regional organisations that are not dominated by western states are playing a more important role in international politics.
What does that mean for the small states? The small states have benefitted from open rules based world order. In a time of transition uncertainity and even conflict can arise. Small states are more vulnerable to both due to lack of capability and resources.
Small states will need to place priorities in two areas. First, they need to increase efforts to maintain the legitimacy of multilateral institutions. For states in Europe, this means the European Union and NATO foremost. Second, small states need to increase resiliency, which will decrease vulnerability to conflict an uncertainties. Resiliency not only can improve a small state’s chances in problematic situation, it can also act as a deterrent or prevent problematic situations from rising in a first place.
In times of transitions, there can be troubles but there can also be opportunities. Small states are often times flexible and respond quickly to changing situations. Small states should be ready to take advantage of economic and political opportunities when they arise in changing world order.