Volltext: How do states without defence forces defend themselves?

relatively new concept and not as rock solid as might be thought. Until the Second World War 
states recognized each other diplomatically but to different degrees. Major powers would 
exchange Ambassadors but smaller powers would only be accredited to the level of Minister or 
Envoy'^. Historically in Europe, particularly in the Holy Roman Empire, states of different rank 
existed depending on the title and status of their sovereign. An Emperor was superior to a King 
who was superior to a Grand Duke who was superior to Dukes, Princes and Sovereign Counts. 
In the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire in 1792 this was reflected in voting rights where the eight 
members of the Council of Electors had a vote for selecting the Emperor and a single vote in 
ordinary matters. There was then the Council of Princes who could not vote for the Emperor but 
whose sovereign status entitled them to a single vote on ordinary matters of the diet. There 
were then a number of single vote Colleges, where groups of up to 30 Princes, Counts and 
Bishops formed a College that was entitled to one vote on ordinary matters'*' 
. Gaining a single 
sovereign vote was what the Princes of Liechtenstein sought through their purchase of the 
Principality because it had the appropriate sovereign status. 
If major powers in the present day were to attempt to alter the notion of sovereign equality to 
better reflect the true status and power of states then this could undermine the sovereign 
protections small states currently enjoy. In practical terms beyond the Security Council it could 
be argued that this is already occurring. Groupings of states that assign status over and above 
other states already exist particularly in the economic realm. The G7, G20 and the Organisation 
for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) all give states an economic status, 
influence and power greater than non-members of these groups. Should China and Russia and 
the next tier of powers such as Germany, Japan, India and Brazil be successful in reshaping 
the existing order or creating new or parallel structures then the inviolate sovereign status 
enshrined by the equality of states in the UN system could come under threat. Any 
development of regional hegemons or spheres of influence would be detrimental to the ability of 
small states to assert their rights of self-determination. 
This paper has demonstrated that for a small state defence without a military is not a radical 
approach in a world where conventional military warfare is becoming less common. The threats 
to nations and their interests in the current era are generally not from the armoured divisions 
1% Changes to Diplomatic Rank http://opil.ouplaw.com/page/vienna-and-the-codification-of- 
'^! Structure of the Holy Roman Empire http://www.napoleon- 
series.org/research/government/c holyroman.html 


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