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"Small States" in International Relations: Development, Definition, Foreign Policy and Alliance Behavior

The aim of this article is to analyze the concept of small states in the discipline of International Relations to show differences and contradictions in the definition and to discuss the literature on foreign policy and alliance behavior of small states. The article emphasizes that there has not been a single approach to the definition of small states and there is diversity in the studies dealing with foreign policy and alliance behavior of these states. While the article enables us to question to what extent this diversity makes the category of small states meaningful, on the other hand, it tries to show that this situation reflects the developments and theoretical discussions in the discipline. Differences in defining small states and diversity of foreign policy and alliance behavior lead scholars, who benefit from contending theories of International Relations, to deal with the category of small states from different perspectives.