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Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


Term generally used to denote the very smallest sovereign units. These remind us that, although in modern times much of Europe's political map has been recast along the lines of nation-statehood (see nationalism ), far more fragmented patterns were previously the norm (as shown e.g. by the 300-plus territorial rulers found across the Germanic lands of the holy roman empire even until the late eighteenth century). One problem common to all these historical residues is their relationship to forms of inter-state cooperation (such as those relating to european integration , or to the united nations ) that have been developed by sovereign bodies operating on a far larger scale. Early in the twenty-first century Europe still featured five such micro-states, in addition to the semi-comparable case of malta (which differed from the others not least through its full membership of the European Union from 2004 onward): [1] Andorra. This enclave (469 sq km, 181 sq miles; current population around 85,000; UN member since 1993) in the eastern Pyrenees was for long jointly administered through governors nominated by the Spanish bishop of Urgell on one side and France's monarchical or presidential head of state on the other. While retaining the formal status of a “co-principality,” it has been since the constitutional reforms of 1993 a parliamentary representative democracy with the rank ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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