New publication: Democracy in small states: Persisting against all odds

KITLV researcher Wouter Veenendaal has published a new book, titled Democracy in small states: Persisting against all odds , co-authored with Jack Corbett, and published with Oxford University Press.

This is the first book-length study of democracy in the world’s 39 small states with less than 1 million inhabitants, which so far have mostly been excluded from mainstream comparative research. The book investigates to what extent prevailing theories of democratic transition and consolidation can explain the performance of small states, and finds that most of them lack explanatory power. Instead, the analysis reveals that politics in small states is highly personalistic and informal in nature, showing that hyper-personal democracy persists even in very adverse circumstances. The analysis is based on over 250 interviews with political elites in 28 small states around the world, as well as an extensive content analysis of the case study literature on individual small states.

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