41 Micro-countries: How Economic Competitive Disadvantages, Climate Change Disasters, and Identity Divides Threaten the World's Smallest Countries
Will micro-countries be able to cope with the economic disadvantages, environmental disasters, and identity divides threatening them? Professor Samuel Humes’ most recent book surveys the common characteristics of the 41 micro-countries. Comprehensive tables and insights from micro-country leaders enhance understanding the socio-economic and political dynamics confronting vital micro-countries on six continents. He describes how micro-countries have enhanced their viability by relying upon and interacting not only with neighboring “shelter countries” but also United Nations affiliates and other international organizations and regional organizations of governments. These regional organizations, founded as free trade associations and guided by aspirations similar to the European Union, promote common interests and collectively manage joint programs; several have developed parliaments and common central banks as well as and an executive branch of government.
Micro-countries are especially vulnerable to threats to their viability. While major countries have many advantages in the global economic and political arena, small ones have few. Micro-countries (those with fewer than one million inhabitants) are especially stressed by the threats they face. Their economies lack the infrastructure and the diversity and scale of industry to compete effectively in the global marketplace. Climate change has increased the frequency and velocity of storms, devastating and inundating their coastal communities. Their identity divides, and accompanied elitism, schisms, and strife, as well as their small size, handicap the development of their institutions, infrastructure and services.
This survey of micro-countries not only increases our understanding of them but also the limitations of the global system of governance, which vests so much power in the major countries