New small states, Brexit and seeking shelter
6:00 pm18:00

New small states, Brexit and seeking shelter

  • Queen Mary University of London

Please join us for the second of Professor Baldur Thorhallsson's Leverhulme Lectures on 28 April.  This is a joint event with the Centre for Security Research of the University of Edinburgh to celebrate the publication of AW Neal (ed) Security in a Small Nation: Scotland, Democracy, Politics.  

A drinks and canapés reception will follow the lecture.

Download a free copy of the book here:

RSVP here:

Speaker biographies

Andrew W. Neal is a senior lecturer in politics and international relations at the University of Edinburgh and co-director of the Centre for Security Research (CeSeR). He was principal investigator of the ESRC seminar series ‘Security in Scotland, with or without constitutional change’ (2013–2015), and is currently finalising a monograph on the relationship between security and politics.

Juliet Kaarbo is Professor of International Relations with a Chair in Foreign Policy at the University of Edinburgh. She is founding co-director of Edinburgh’s Centre for Security Research. Her research focuses on political psychology, leadership and decision making, group dynamics, foreign policy analysis and theory, parliamentary political systems, and national roles. 

Baldur Thorhallsson is Head and Professor at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Iceland. He is also Jean Monnet Chair in European Studies, and Programme and Research Director at the Centre for Small States at the University of Iceland. He established the Centre for Small State Studies in 2002. His research focus is primarily on small state studies, European integration and Iceland’s foreign policy.   In 2017, he is the  Leverhulme Visiting Professor at Queen Mary University of London. 

How do Small European States Prosper? The Relationship between Small States and Their Larger Neighbours
1:00 pm13:00

How do Small European States Prosper? The Relationship between Small States and Their Larger Neighbours

  • Queen Mary University of London

Tuesday 14 March 2017 1-2pm

Queen Mary University of London, Arts One Building, Room 1.28

Professor Baldur Thorhallsson, Leverhulme Visiting Professor, School of Law, Centre for Small States at QMUL and the University of Iceland

Please RSVP to:


One of the best-supported assumptions in the international relations literature is that small countries need to form alliances and seek protection from larger neighboring states and/or international institutions. Small European states have generally sought shelter from the European Union and NATO. This lecture will discuss the shelter theory and explain how it differs from traditional alliance theories. The shelter theory claims that small states are fundamentally different units than large states and need political, economic and societal shelter provided by larger states and/or international organization. On the other hand, protection may come with a certain cost. The lecture will examine why the Baltic states have been eager to seek cover by the European Union and NATO while some of the Nordic states have been reluctant to join them and have important opt-outs from the E U.

The event is jointly held between the Centre for European Research and the Centre for Small States and is funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Lunch will be provided.





International Financial Services and Small States
Jan 31

International Financial Services and Small States

  • Wilmer Hale LLP

We are delighted to invite you to a free 1½-day conference in London on international financial services and small states.

International Financial Services Institutions based in small states (SS IFCs) are key players in the financial services industry. SS IFCs are often able to deliver international financial services more efficiently and effectively than larger enterprises. In recent years, SS IFCs have driven innovation and become important players in international financial services trade.

The treatment of SS IFCs is central to the international tax reform agenda. Both the G20 and the European Union have signalled commitment to significant regulatory changes in 2017, including blacklisting and other measures which have historically penalised their small states and SS IFCs. The conference will address the importance of SS IFCs to the financial services industry, issues involving international tax regulations affecting SS IFCs, and international arbitration as a means of resolving arising disputes.

For more information and to register, see


Brexit and Beyond: Implications for the British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories
1:00 pm13:00

Brexit and Beyond: Implications for the British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories

  • Doughty St Chambers

The result of the UK referendum on membership of the EU has caused shock waves across the UK, to Europe and beyond as people try to grapple with the complex legal, economic and political consequences of the 'Leave' vote.

Although unable to vote, the people of the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies need to consider what their interests really are for the future and how, constitutionally and legally, those interests could best be protected as the UK prepares for Brexit.  It will be up to them to make sure their voices are heard and that the new constitutional and legal landscape suits their needs.  This may require careful thought about their current constitutional position and the extent to which it allows them to forge their own relationships with the devolved nations, other countries and regional and international organisations.  The one thing all these territories have in common is that they are small communities, vulnerable to shocks from the outside world and with limited capacity for international diplomacy.  Tackling the enormity of this challenge will be a struggle.  But this break in the status quo is also an unprecedented opportunity to reset the agenda and decide what place they want in the world in the 21st Century.

For more, see: Susie Alegre, Doughty St International


May 20

Integration & International Dispute Resolution in Small States

  • Wilmer Hale

The aim of this 1½ day conference is to bring together academics, representatives of Small States, as well as lawyers litigating in or for Small States (defined as those states with a population of 1.5m or less), to discuss the particular issues these jurisdictions face in regard to international dispute resolution and regional integration. Our keynote speaker will be Gary Born. Also featuring a number of speakers and chairs. Register here.

2:00 pm14:00

Small States in the Pacific

  • Faculty of Law

Co-hosted with the New Zeland Association for Comparative Law, this half-day workshop considers the special challenges faced by small states in the Pacific.

4:00 pm16:00


The small states of Europe are often overlooked by their larger neighbours when it comes to legal conversations about the EU. This half-day workshop seeks to redress this imbalance and put the position of the small states of the European Union under the spotlight.