Small powers in English school theory of international relations

Eduards Gailišs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Small power research has been going on in the field regardless of the fact that there is no common definition of a research object. Research deals with small powers which is a broader notion than small states. English School of international relations is one of the theories suitable for small power research because it deals with interaction of states in international society. The theory was developed by Martin Wight, Hedley Bull and Barry Buzan. The aim of the research is to look at the problem of defining small powers in the field and to find one of the possible definitions for small power according to English School theory of international relations. This aim will help the English School theory effectively adapt to small power research, which has been rather neglected topic in the discipline. The used method to address the problem is qualitative text analysis. In the research it is necessary to look at the main approaches or schools of thought that exist for defining small powers in international relations before creating a definition. The key results: there have been five main methodological approaches in international relations for defining small powers: qualitative, quantitative, structural, security and comparison approach. To define small powers in the English School of international relations, a definition is created according to the two main concepts of the theory. According to the first concept, smallness can be defined as state’s relative lack of influence in international system and, according to the second, it creates necessity for power maximization through mechanisms of international society
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 62nd International Scientific Conference of Daugavpils University
Subtitle of host publicationPart B. Social Sciences
EditorsIrēna Kokina
Place of PublicationDaugavpils
PublisherDaugavpils University
Pages110 -116
ISBN (Print)978-9984-14-926-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event62nd International Scientific Conference of Daugavpils University - Daugavpils, Latvia
Duration: 28 May 202029 May 2020
Conference number: 62


Conference62nd International Scientific Conference of Daugavpils University
OtherDaugavpils Universitātes 62. starptautiskā zinātniskā konference


  • small power
  • international system
  • international society

Field of Science*

  • 5.6 Political science

Publication Type*

  • 3.2. Articles or chapters in other proceedings other than those included in 3.1., with an ISBN or ISSN code


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