1673 Governance of Small States

1673 Governance of Small States

  • Study programme and level: Professional degree programme Administration 1nd Cycle
  • 2nd year
  • 6 ECTS
  • Course type: Elective
  • Lectures: 30
  • Other forms of study: 90
  • Individual work: 60
  • Lecturer: Primož Pevcin, PhD


1. Objectives and competences


  • Student discovers the specifics in the functioning of small states.
  • Student recognizes the differences in governance of small versus large states.
  • Student recognizes the effects of multi-level governance relations and globalization on small states.
  • Student discovers policies and complex problem solving issues in small states.


  • Student understands socio-economic specifics of small states, including specific relationships and functioning of economy, NGO's and nonprofits, as well as the fourth sector.
  • Student places small states issues in the context.
  • Student critically evaluates complex problems of small states.
  • Student place in the context governance and policy making issues in small states.

2. Content

  • Various definitions of small state.
  • Socio-economics of state size: advantages and disadvantages of state size
  • Specifics of economics and governance of small states
  • Political economy of small states
  • Multi-level governance, public management in small states
  • Creation of smart state policies in small states
  • Small states and relations to international organizations
  • Sector-specific issues in small states (economy, NGO's and non-profit organizations, fourth sector etc.)
  • Relationships and decision-making in small states
  • Small states and capacity to solve complex problems
  • Crisis management in small states
  • Small states in the EU

3. Readings

  • Steinmetz, R. in A. Wivel (ur.) (2010). Small States in Europe: Challenges and Opportunities, Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • Baker, R. (ur.) (1992). Public Administration in Small and Island States. West Hartford: Kumarian.
  • Thorhallson, B. (ur.) (2018). Small States and Shelter Theory. Abingdon: Routledge.

4. Intended learning outcomes

After passing the course students will:

  • know how small states are defined according to different disciplinary/ theoretical perspectives (international relations, economics, public administration, sociology);
  • escribe the special characteristics of role-relationships in small societies and their impact on political, administrative and economic behavior;
  • analyze the impact of size on small states’ politics, public administration, economy and international relations;
  • discuss the challenges and opportunities of small states in Europe and their strategies in taking advantage of the EU institutional structures, including the ‘smart state strategy’;
  • characterize the special traits of small markets, relate these to the potential goals and means of economic policy in the context of global markets and multi-level governance;
  • be able to apply the gained knowledge to a practical policy problem in order to provide policy advice to a small state government.

5. Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Project work
  • Case studies
  • Problem-based learning
  • Homeworks




6. Assessment

  • written and/or oral exam (60%)
  • project seminar (40%)