The Mice that Roared Central Europe Is Reshaping Global Politics

It is not easy being small, especially in the world of global power politics. History has taught the Central Europeans this lesson all too well. But the young democracies of the region exert surprising clout today in the geopolitical arena. For once, they are thinking like players rather than pawns.
Von Wess Mitchell
Prague as viewed above the Charles Bridge: Central Europe's strategic landscape has been radically transformed.

Prague as viewed above the Charles Bridge: Central Europe's strategic landscape has been radically transformed.

Foto: AFP

Strategic Landscape

Period Structural Reality Strategic Implication Policy Outcomes
1938 Geography = Liability High Costs of Non-Committal Diplomacy Balance or Bandwagon
Lack of Credible Security Guarantee High Costs of Saying "No" Absence of Bargaining
2008 Geography = Asset Low Costs of Non-Committal Diplomacy Hedging
Credible Security Guarantee Low Costs of Saying "No" Bargaining
Source: Mitchell
Wess Mitchell is director of research at the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington-based institute dedicated to the study of Central Europe.
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