Liechtenstein Politische Schriften
put the economic niches of VSC at risk, and our study shows that VSC act in a rather protectionist manner when they have to defend their eco- nomic niches. Note that the relevant measures are often only possible if a territory has a certain degree of effective sovereignty. As expected, re- moteness and disaster proneness have proven to be detrimental to the economic development and economic success of VSC. Third, membership in international organizations does not seem to be important for VSC, although our results are rather ambiguous. On the one hand, we found that VSC are very much dependent on support from outside the country in maintaining their niche activities and on lob- bying activities for their internationally neglected matters of concern. On the other hand, international representation is very costly for VSC, and we were not able to detect a relationship between economic success and the extent of international representation. Fourth, social and socio-economic factors seem to play an impor- tant role for VSC. Among the many determinants, we mentioned the higher flexibility and adaptability of VSC as well as peculiarities of the political process. For the latter, we were not able to draw a coherent picture which would link political system characteristics and economic success. To our surprise, ethnic, linguistic and religious heterogeneity is considerable in some very successful VSC. One can, therefore, conclude that heterogeneity might even be a determinant of VSC success rather than a negative factor, as it is sometimes regarded to be. 176 
The economics of sovereignty: «secrets of success» of very small countries


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