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Michael F. Palo

Neutrality as a Policy Choice for Small/Weak Democracies

Learning from the Belgian Experience

Michael F. Palo

In Neutrality as a Policy Choice for Small/Weak Democracies: Learning from the Belgian Experience, Michael F. Palo has three main objectives. First, he employs a counterfactual approach to examine the hypothesis that had permanent neutrality not been imposed on Belgium in 1839, it would have pursued neutrality anyway until war broke out in 1914. Secondly, he analyses why, after abandoning obligatory neutrality during World War I, the Belgians adopted voluntary neutrality in October 1936. Finally, he seeks to use the historical Belgian case study to test specific International Relations’ Theories and to contribute to Small State Studies, especially the behaviour of small/weak democracies in the international system.


Neil Boister


This article explores how transnational criminal law is used as a tool to create a legal space within the state where the fugitive resides or is acting, in order in effect to re-set the border inside that jurisdiction and to make it possible, by proxy, to enforce another state’s law. It argues that transnational criminal law is used to establish a kind of fictional transnational legal space, created by changing domestic laws and practices of both the state exercising its jurisdiction and the state in which that jurisdiction is being exercised, so that restrictions on cooperative action are minimalized. It explores how that space is created and how it shapes the structure of transnational criminal law through the building of normative structures—both legal and administrative—to suppress the activities of alleged criminals in this space. But its specific focus is on how this purely functional relationship impacts on individuals caught within that space.