Liechtenstein Politische Schriften
above, the structure of the current international economic system (free capital movements, less protectionism etc.) has it made easier to survive economically as a VSC. This conclusion, which is in marked contrast to economic theory, is the only one that is able to explain the recent surge in secessions from an economic point of view. It must have generally be- come more feasible to succeed as a small country or territory (even if the economic impact on this greater feasibility may be rather small), al - though public sector disadvantages seem to have risen, according to Chapter 3. The actual level of wealth in VSC, however, mainly depends on the ability of exploiting opportunities and adapt to the international economic environment. There are good opportunities for VSC to succeed, but there are no 
sine qua nonprerequisites for success if trade openness is pursuable and geographic location is not remote. Further evidence for this conclusion is provided by the 13 low-income VSC, which have been specializing in sectors very similar to those of the eight high-income VSC, with many of them having had economic starting po- sitions similar to those of the high-income countries. Sovereignty may be simply viewed as a territorial law-making mo- nopoly. It allows the favoring of certain groups of people, certain bran- ches or certain individuals. A country which is internationally recog - nized can exert full law-making authority, but it is limited by a lot of ex- ternal constraints. These constraints might be inherent to the economic and political system (it would be rather silly, for example, to forbid im- ports). They might also be the consequence of international treaties and regulations. The latter are however mostly general enough to leave some space for preferential strategies and some scope for tailored law-making in VSC.130It would be very costly to change these treaties and regula - tions, because it often requires a high quorum of consent, which is some - times difficult to achieve. Some larger countries also profit from these loopholes of treaties and international regulations, which is an incentive for them to protect the 
status quo.Note that it is often much more fea- sible to install a system of monitoring against unfair competi tion bet- ween countries, tax haven policies and races to the bottom. In many ca- ses, monitoring activities do not lead to serious consequences, but the 173 
A summarizing evaluation of law-making authority and sovereignty 130A notable exception is the EU, where we have very detailed regulations in some areas. When we take tax policies as an example, there is however quite a lot of space left for national policies.


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