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Small States and Big Ideas: Estonia's Battle for Cybersecurity Norms.

This article focuses on the ability of militarily aligned small states to function as norm entrepreneurs to increase their own state interests. The scholarship on small state foreign policy is growing. This article builds on that scholarship by focusing on the promising, yet underdeveloped field of norm building. While small state scholars have researched norm-building capabilities in non-aligned states, research has not been done on the ability of aligned small states to build norms. Since the end of the Cold War, more and more small states are turning away from neutrality in favour of security organizations, NATO in particular. This has created a significant gap in the literature of small states that this article will address. Using Estonia's efforts at establishing norms in cybersecurity as a case study, this article analyses whether Estonia's membership in NATO helps or hinders its efforts in norm building. The research shows that NATO membership has helped Estonia's efforts in promoting norms, but also has limitations. Despite those limitations, this research shows that for small states with big ideas, the promotion of norms can be a powerful means to further state interest on the global level.
Matthew Crandall, Collin Allan
Industry Focus: 
Internet & Cyberspace