Date of Award

Spring 2002

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International Studies

Committee Director

Donald J. Zeigler

Committee Member

Daniel N. Nelson

Committee Member

Regina C. Karp

Committee Member

Austin Jersild


Drawing on the literatures on democratization, security studies, and small states this dissertation explores the relationship of small states' domestic and international institutionalization and their security. Small states have limited power not only to affect their environment but also to guarantee national security. Small states, it is hypothesized, enhance their security through the consolidation of domestic institutions and the accumulation of capacities provided by their participation in capacity-reach international institutions.

The dissertation tests the hypothesis by applying the comparative method to the post-communist states of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Lithuania. The three case studies analyze the effects of domestic institution-building and integration in international institutions on the security of each state. The study analyzes the policies that the three states applied in the last ten years after the collapse of communism, which led to a profound transformation of their national security.

The most important finding of this dissertation is that the security of each of the states was determined not only by external factors, traditionally identified by realist approaches, but also by domestic factors. States that were able to quickly consolidate their political institutions were able to achieve not only a greater degree of integration in international institutions but also a greater level of security. Hence, states' attempts to enhance their security should not only seek formal alliances and integration in powerful international institutions but also a domestic institutional strength that would enable the state to achieve a further international integration and a greater capacity to address what the population perceives as security threats, both domestic and external. Thus, the security of small states is best achieved not only by attaining traditional security guarantees, i.e. alliances, but also by strengthening domestic institutions.


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