Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
Flynn, Brendan
2019 September
Europe, Small Navies and Maritime Security Balancing Traditional Roles and Emergent Threats in the 21st Century
“From hand-me-down navies to niche players? Comparing the navies of (very) small European states”
Optional Fields
Navies; small states; maritime: security:
What is examined here is a sub-set of (very) small European navies, deliberately skewed towards the lower end of population. This includes two geographically contrasting small states which, although EU members, are not NATO navies: Ireland and Cyprus. Also examined are Iceland, Latvia and Slovenia, which although NATO members, inhabit different geographic conditions. These states also differ as to whether they have a large or small EEZ (Ireland and Iceland versus Slovenia respectively). Most importantly, their economies are small, or they exhibit low defence spending. They cannot leverage their small size with a large wallet, unlike say Norway. They are the classic exemplars of very small states, typically footnoted in international relations studies dominated by the great powers. However, very small states may simply lack the fiscal base to sustain certain types of naval technology, and they can be more vulnerable to economic shocks and some of the states examined here were at the forefront of the great recession. of 2008. To what extent has it eroded their already limited capacity to fund naval capabilities? Therefore, a second set of questions explored relates to the structural constraints facing small state navies. Should we expect them to merely invest in the most basic of coastal constabulary assets to the neglect of any sea-denial role? Or could we expect them to innovate with radically asymmetric naval doctrines, because they can’t afford anything else? Relatedly, very small states have often been recipients of second-hand ships from larger powers. While some of this activity is hard-headed business, ships are also ‘gifted’ as part of wider diplomatic calculations. How has this activity shaped small state naval forces?
Grant Details
Publication Themes
Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy, Environment, Marine and Energy