Liechtenstein Politische Schriften
and their consequences, there should be no difference between VSC and SAR. In passing note that both VSC and SAR try to protect their sym- bolic and emotional signs of sovereignty (which are, by the way, often not very expensive) like their own flag, this own anthem, the delegation of athletes to Olympic games, or football teams. In contrast, SAR try to obtain sovereign rights and law-making authority in those areas which have been shown to be of importance in pursuing niche strategies and, hence, in reaching high levels of welfare. Most of the SAR, for example, have the right to set tax rates and to decide on corporate laws and similar issues. This is an important diffe - rence between SAR and «regular» regions of federal countries. The lat- ter often have limited scope of action in determining business laws and tax rates. Judging with caution from the evidence, one can conclude that a ra - ther limited part of full «effective» sovereignty is sufficient to ensure the pursuit of niche strategies in economics. This result is independent of a territory’s political sovereignty, international recognition or member - ship in international and regional organizations. It depends heavily how - ever on a high level of trade openness and geographic factors. Social homogeneity does not seem to be of great importance. It may even be a possible source of problems when it results in protectionist nationalism. The economic and political conditions inherent to VSC re- quire a certain degree of internationalism and open-mindedness. A thorough identification with the VSC and SAR may, however, play a role in success. Note finally that a lot of autonomous regions have been disregarded in the previous sections, but case studies for some of them (see, e.g., Milne and Baldacchino, 2000, who additionally study Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and the Åland archipelago) provide evidence that confirms our 
results. 5.4.3 Another economic look at sovereignty Our results suggest that a certain degree of sovereignty – though a ra ther limited one is necessary – in order to be able to pursue successful eco- nomic strategies, but there is by no means an automatism that leads to higher levels of welfare in sovereign (very small) countries. As noted 172 
The economics of sovereignty: «secrets of success» of very small countries


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