Small States and the New Security Environment (SSANSE) - College of Arts - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Small States and the New Security Environment (SSANSE)

The SSANSE project is a preparedness initiative examining the defence and foreign policy choices and challenges of small states in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and Oceania in the new security environment. Small states make up half of the membership of the United Nations. Small states may be small in population and territory, but they have frequently had a disproportionate effect on global politics and they are more often affected by global shifts in power. SSANSE will extend theoretical debates on the role of small states in the changing international system as well as on the issue of how states manage their relations between the major powers in the new security environment.

The SSANSE research team is led by Professor Anne-Marie Brady, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Canterbury and Professor Baldur Thorhallsson, University of Iceland; working with co-directors Professor Margareta Šešelgytė, Vilnius University and Professor Alan Tidwell, Georgetown University.  

The SSANSE research team will:

  1. produce a set of policy-relevant, theoretically-informed research in the form of policy briefs, op eds, and academic papers on the foreign policy choices and challenges of small states as they face the new security environment; project directors will organise a conference and workshop for project participants in New Zealand; an international conference for small states specialists in Iceland; and a half-day seminar for policymakers and diplomats in Washington D.C. on these themes; and edit two books which will collate the findings of the international research team.
  2. engage with and contribute to existing literature on small states in the international system.
  3. deepen local and international awareness of the range and depth of small state foreign affairs, defence, and strategic interests in the new security environment.
  4. train a cohort of young researchers so they can use this knowledge as a stepping-stone to careers in diplomacy, defence, and academia.

Project research partnerships:

Project funding

UC-Based Research Team

  • Professor Anne-Marie Brady
  • Associate Professor Natalia Chaban
  • Toby Dalley
  • Dr Kate Dewes
  • Professor Martin Holland
  • K.C. Jung
  • Dr Serena Kelly
  • Professor Steve Ratuva

SSANSE Co-directors

  • Professor Margareta Šešelgytė, Vilnius University
  • Professor Baldur Thorhallsson, University of Iceland
  • Professor Alan Tidwell, Georgetown University

Research Associates (NZ foreign policy book project):

  • Dr Joe Burton, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Dr Beth Greener, Massey University
  • Mr Nicky Hager, independent researcher
  • Associate Professor Jim Headley
  • Associate-Professor Steve Hoadley
  • Professor Robert Patman
  • Dr Anna Powles
  • Dr Jim Rolfe
  • Dr Mark G. Rolls
  • Dr Anthony Smith, NZ Department of PM and Cabinet
  • Dr Reuben Steff
  • Dr Corey Wallace

Opportunities to participate in the project:

NZ Conference - Small states and the changing global order: NZ Faces the Future
From 3-4 June 2017, the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

2-day conference for New Zealand and international participants to discuss some of the themes of the SSANSE project, particularly focusing on the foreign policy of New Zealand. The conference will include a workshop for SSANSE project participants to explore early research findings within the wider project. Selected conference papers will be published in a forthcoming edited book. Further information about the conference and the call for papers can be found here.

Graduate participation in the conference is warmly welcomed. The SSANSE project will offer 5 travel awards, worth $100 each, for non-University of Canterbury-based students enrolled at one of NZ’s universities to attend and present papers at the June 2017 conference.

Courses of study

Scholarship opportunities for graduate research within the project’s themes: