The Small States Club
How Small Smart Powers Can Save the World
Selected as one of the Diplomatic Courier’s ’15 Books to Look Forward to in 2023′.
A gracefully written reflection on how small states can pack a punch that belies their size.
In this book, Armen Sarkissian, former president of Armenia, argues that small states can navigate the complex challenges of the twenty-first century in smarter ways than ‘greater’ powers. For smallness–often regarded as a weakness–can be a strength. It may induce insecurity in states, but also endows them with an instinct for survival. Large states are ponderous; small states can be agile and adaptive.
Drawing on his deep experience as a scientist, businessman, diplomat and head of state, Sarkissian offers captivating portraits of small states, from Africa to Europe to Asia, that have overcome seemingly insuperable odds to establish themselves as oases of political stability, cultural tolerance, technological innovation, financial prudence and scientific research. Sarkissian returns to the uncertain beginnings of these small states to demystify their improbable rise. Along the way, he introduces us to a cast of tenacious leaders with a knack for converting crisis into opportunity.
Widely regarded as the most respected Armenian leader on the world stage, Sarkissian ends with a poignant homage to his motherland. Part memoir, part manifesto, it is a stirring insight into the world’s oldest Christian country, which is at once an ancient civilisation, a small state and a global nation.
Armen Sarkissian PhD is a world-renowned theoretical physicist, diplomat, politician and businessman. Armenia's former president (2018-22) and prime minister (1996-7), he has served as head of the University of Cambridge's Eurasia Centre, and held top positions at Harvard and Chicago Universities, the University of London and the World Economic Forum.