A microstate or ministate is a sovereign state having a very small population or very small land area, and usually both. The meanings of "state" and "very small" are not well-defined in international law. Recent attempts, since 2010, to define microstates have focused on identifying political entities with unique qualitative features linked to their geographic or demographic limitations. According to a qualitative definition, microstates are: "modern protected states, i.e. sovereign states that have been able to unilaterally depute certain attributes of sovereignty to larger powers in exchange for benign protection of their political and economic viability against their geographic or demographic constraints." In line with this and most other definitions, examples of microstates include Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra, the Cook Islands, Niue, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
The smallest political unit recognized as a sovereign state is Vatican City, with 842 citizens as of July 2013 and an area of only 44 hectares (110 acres). However, some scholars dispute qualifying the Vatican as a state, arguing that it does not meet the "traditional criteria of statehood" and that the "special status of the Vatican City is probably best regarded as a means of ensuring that the Pope can freely exercise his spiritual functions, and in this respect is loosely analogous to that of the headquarters of international organisations."
Microstates are distinct from micronations, which are not recognized as sovereign states. Special territories without full sovereignty, such as the British Crown Dependencies, the Chinese Special Administrative Regions and overseas territories of Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Australia, Norway, the United States and the United Kingdom, are also not considered microstates.
Most scholars identify microstates by using a quantitative threshold and applying it to either one variable (such as the size of its territory or population) or a composite of different variables. While it is agreed that microstates are the smallest of all states, there is no consensus on what variable (or variables) or what cut-off point should be used to determine which political units should be labelled as "microstates" (as opposed to small "normal" states).
|Rank||Country / Territory||Area (km²/sqmi)||Capital city||Region|
|1||Vatican City||0.44 km2 (0.17 sq mi)||Vatican City||Europe|
|2||Monaco||2.02 km2 (0.78 sq mi)||Monaco-Ville||Europe|
|3||Nauru||21 km2 (8 sq mi)||Yaren||Oceania|
|4||Tuvalu||26 km2 (10 sq mi)||Funafuti||Oceania|
|5||San Marino||61 km2 (24 sq mi)||San Marino||Europe|
|6||Liechtenstein||160 km2 (62 sq mi)||Vaduz||Europe|
|7||Marshall Islands||181 km2 (70 sq mi)||Majuro||Oceania|
|8||Saint Kitts and Nevis||261 km2 (101 sq mi)||Basseterre||Caribbean|
|9||Maldives||298 km2 (115 sq mi)||Malé||Asia – Indian Ocean|
|10||Malta||316 km2 (122 sq mi)||Valletta||Europe – Mediterranean Sea|
|11||Grenada||344 km2 (133 sq mi)||St. George's||Caribbean|
|12||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||389 km2 (150 sq mi)||Kingstown||Caribbean|
|13||Barbados||430 km2 (166 sq mi)||Bridgetown||Caribbean|
|14||Antigua and Barbuda||443 km2 (171 sq mi)||St. John's||Caribbean|
|15||Seychelles||455 km2 (176 sq mi)||Victoria||Africa – Indian Ocean|
|16||Palau||459 km2 (177 sq mi)||Ngerulmud||Oceania|
|17||Andorra||468 km2 (181 sq mi)||Andorra la Vella||Europe|
|18||Saint Lucia||616 km2 (238 sq mi)||Castries||Caribbean|
|19||Micronesia, Federated States of||702 km2 (271 sq mi)||Palikir||Oceania|
|20||Singapore||714 km2 (276 sq mi)||Singapore||Asia|
|21||Tonga||747 km2 (288 sq mi)||Nukuʻalofa||Oceania|
|22||Dominica||751 km2 (290 sq mi)||Roseau||Caribbean|
|23||Bahrain||765 km2 (295 sq mi)||Manama||Asia – Persian Gulf|
|24||Kiribati||811 km2 (313 sq mi)||Tarawa||Oceania|
|25||São Tomé and Príncipe||964 km2 (372 sq mi)||São Tomé||Africa – Atlantic Ocean|
|1||Vatican City||842||1913.6||Vatican City||Europe|
|5||San Marino||32,742||536.8||San Marino||Europe|
|8||Saint Kitts and Nevis||51,538||197.5||Basseterre||Caribbean|
|11||Andorra||85,458||182.6||Andorra la Vella||Europe|
|12||Antigua and Barbuda||91,295||206.1||St. John's||Caribbean|
|13||Seychelles||91,650||201.4||Victoria||Africa - Indian Ocean|
|14||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||102,918||264.6||Kingstown||Caribbean|
|16||Micronesia, Federated States of||105,681||150.5||Palikir||Oceania|
|20||São Tomé and Príncipe||190,428||197.5||São Tomé||Africa - Atlantic Ocean|
|27||Maldives||393,595||1320.8||Malé||Asia - Indian Ocean|
|28||Malta||412,655||1305.9||Valletta||Europe - Mediterranean Sea|
|29||Brunei||422,675||73.3||Bandar Seri Begawan||Asia|
While employing simple quantitative criteria may seem straightforward, it can also be perceived as potentially problematic. According to some scholars the quantitative approach to defining microstates suffers from such problems as "inconsistency, arbitrariness, vagueness and inability to meaningfully isolate qualitatively distinct political units"
In response to the problems associated with the quantitative definitions of microstates, some academics have suggested finding states with unique features linked to their geographic or demographic smallness. Newer approaches have proposed looking at the behaviour or capacity to operate in the international arena in order to determine which states should deserve the microstate label. Yet, it has been argued that such approaches could lead to either confusing microstates with weak states (or failed states) or relying too much on subjective perceptions.
In order to address both the problems with quantitative approaches and with definitions based on qualitative features, it has been argued that a useful and meaningful way to isolate microstates from other types of states, would be to see them as "modern protected states". According to the definition proposed by Dumienski (2014): "microstates are modern protected states, i.e. sovereign states that have been able to unilaterally depute certain attributes of sovereignty to larger powers in exchange for benign protection of their political and economic viability against their geographic or demographic constraints." Adopting this approach permits limiting the number of microstates and separating them from both small states and autonomies or dependencies. Examples of microstates understood as modern protected states include such states as: Liechtenstein, San Marino, Monaco, Niue, Andorra, the Cook Islands or Palau.
A small number of tiny sovereign political units are founded on historical anomalies or eccentric interpretations of law. These types of states, often labelled as "microstates," are usually located on small (usually disputed) territorial enclaves, generate limited economic activity founded on tourism and philatelic and numismatic sales, and are tolerated or ignored by the nations from which they claim to have seceded.
One example is the Republic of Indian Stream, now the town of Pittsburg, New Hampshire—a geographic anomaly left unresolved by the Treaty of Paris that ended the U.S. Revolutionary War, and claimed by both the U.S. and Canada. Between 1832 and 1835, the area's residents refused to acknowledge either claimant.
Another example is the Cospaia Republic, which became independent through a treaty error and survived from 1440 to 1826. Its independence made it important in the introduction of tobacco cultivation to Italy.
Another is Couto Misto, disputed by Spain and Portugal, that operated as a sovereign state in its own right until the 1864 Treaty of Lisbon that partitioned the territory, with the largest part becoming part of Spain.
Albania first participated at the Summer Olympic Games in 1972. They missed the next four games, two of them due to the 1980 and 1984 boycotts, but returned for the 1992 games in Barcelona. They have appeared in all games since then. They made their Winter Olympic Games debut in 2006. Albania normally competes in events that include swimming, athletics, weightlifting, shooting and wrestling. The country has not yet won an Olympic medal, and along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is the only European non-microstate without an Olympic medal. They have been represented by the Albanian National Olympic Committee since 1972.Anarchism in Monaco
This is a short history of anarchism in Monaco, primarily in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Monaco, a principality formerly under the absolute rule of the House of Grimaldi and a constitutional monarchy since 1911, is located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. The city-state and microstate is bordered exclusively by France and the Mediterranean Sea.Canonical ensemble
In statistical mechanics, a canonical ensemble is the statistical ensemble that represents the possible states of a mechanical system in thermal equilibrium with a heat bath at a fixed temperature. The system can exchange energy with the heat bath, so that the states of the system will differ in total energy.
The principal thermodynamic variable of the canonical ensemble, determining the probability distribution of states, is the absolute temperature (symbol: T). The ensemble typically also depends on mechanical variables such as the number of particles in the system (symbol: N) and the system's volume (symbol: V), each of which influence the nature of the system's internal states. An ensemble with these three parameters is sometimes called the NVT ensemble.
The canonical ensemble assigns a probability P to each distinct microstate given by the following exponential:
where E is the total energy of the microstate, and k is Boltzmann's constant.
The number F is the free energy (specifically, the Helmholtz free energy) and is a constant for the ensemble. However, the probabilities and F will vary if different N, V, T are selected. The free energy F serves two roles: first, it provides a normalization factor for the probability distribution (the probabilities, over the complete set of microstates, must add up to one); second, many important ensemble averages can be directly calculated from the function F(N, V, T).
An alternative but equivalent formulation for the same concept writes the probability as
using the canonical partition function
rather than the free energy. The equations below (in terms of free energy) may be restated in terms of the canonical partition function by simple mathematical manipulations.
Historically, the canonical ensemble was first described by Boltzmann (who called it a holode) in 1884 in a relatively unknown paper. It was later reformulated and extensively investigated by Gibbs in 1902.EEG microstates
EEG microstates are transient, patterned, quasi-stable states or patterns of an electroencephalogram. These tend to last anywhere from milliseconds to seconds and are hypothesized to be the most basic initializations of human neurological tasks, and are thus nicknamed "the atoms of thought". Microstate estimation and analysis was originally done using alpha band activity, though broader bandwidth EEG bands are now typically used. The quasi-stability of microstates means that the "global [EEG] topography is fixed, but strength might vary and polarity invert."Ensemble average (statistical mechanics)
In statistical mechanics, the ensemble average is defined as the mean of a quantity that is a function of the microstate of a system (the ensemble of possible states), according to the distribution of the system on its micro-states in this ensemble.
Since the ensemble average is dependent on the ensemble chosen, its mathematical expression varies from ensemble to ensemble. However, the mean obtained for a given physical quantity doesn't depend on the ensemble chosen at the thermodynamic limit.
The grand canonical ensemble is an example of an open system.Entropy (statistical thermodynamics)
In classical statistical mechanics, the entropy function earlier introduced by Rudolf Clausius is interpreted as statistical entropy using probability theory. The statistical entropy perspective was introduced in 1870 with the work of physicist Ludwig Boltzmann.European microstates
The European microstates or European ministates are a set of very small sovereign states in Europe. The term is typically used to refer to the six smallest states in Europe by area: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City. Four of these states are monarchies (three principalities—Andorra, Liechtenstein, and Monaco—and one papacy, the Vatican City), with all these states tracing their status back to the first millennium or the early second millennium, except for Liechtenstein, created in the 17th century.
Microstates are small independent states recognized by larger states, unlike micronations, which are only self-declared and not recognized. According to the qualitative definition suggested by Dumienski (2014), microstates can also be viewed as "modern protected states, i.e. sovereign states that have been able to unilaterally depute certain attributes of sovereignty to larger powers in exchange for benign protection of their political and economic viability against their geographic or demographic constraints." In line with this definition, only Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino, and Monaco qualify as "microstates" as only these states are sovereignties functioning in close, but voluntary, association with their respective larger neighbours. Luxembourg, which is much larger than all the European microstates combined, nonetheless shares some of these characteristics.Some scholars dispute the status of Vatican City as a state, arguing that it does not meet the "traditional criteria of statehood" and that the "special status of the Vatican City is probably best regarded as a means of ensuring that the Pope can freely exercise his spiritual functions, and in this respect is loosely analogous to that of the headquarters of international organisations."Gibbons–Hawking space
In mathematical physics, a Gibbons–Hawking space, named after Gary Gibbons and Stephen Hawking, is essentially a hyperkähler manifold with an extra U(1) symmetry. (In general, Gibbons–Hawking metrics are a subclass of hyperkähler metrics.) Gibbons–Hawking spaces, especially ambipolar ones, find an application in the study of black hole microstate geometries.History of Andorra
Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra (Catalan: Principat d'Andorra), also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra (Catalan: Principat de les Valls d'Andorra), is a sovereign landlocked microstate in Southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France.Kelmis
Kelmis (French: La Calamine) is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Liège, named for the historical deposits of calamine (zinc ore) nearby. As of 2011, the population was 10,881; the area is 18.1 square kilometres (7.0 sq mi) and the population density is 601.2 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,557/sq mi).The municipality consists of the following sub-municipalities: Kelmis proper, Hergenrath, and Neu-Moresnet.
The territory around the Vieille Montagne zinc mine in Kelmis was a neutral condominium of the Netherlands and Prussia (later Belgium and Germany) from 1816 to 1919 as Neutral Moresnet, with the Mayor of Kelmis being nominated by two commissioners from the neighbouring countries. Although there were attempts by locals at making it evolve into a fully independent microstate, all of them were thwarted and it remained under double-sovereignty and neutrality until its eventual annexation by Belgium after World War I.
In the nineteenth century a Low Dietsch dialect was spoken in Kelmis. Today Kelmis is bilingual: German and French and one of the nine municipalities of the German‑speaking Community of Belgium.List of companies of Andorra
Andorra is a sovereign landlocked microstate in Southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. Tourism, the mainstay of Andorra's economy, accounts for roughly 80% of GDP. An estimated 10.2 million tourists visit annually, attracted by Andorra's duty-free status and by its summer and winter resorts.List of companies of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein is a principality in the Alps and a microstate. Despite its small landmass of only 160 km² and a population of 38,111 Liechtenstein has a very successful industrial sector and a strong banking industry, making the country one of the most prosperous nations in the world. The domestic unemployment rate is 1,7 % and about 54% of all employees employed in Liechtenstein are commuters from neighbouring countries.Microstate (statistical mechanics)
In statistical mechanics, a microstate is a specific microscopic configuration of a thermodynamic system that the system may occupy with a certain probability in the course of its thermal fluctuations. In contrast, the macrostate of a system refers to its macroscopic properties, such as its temperature, pressure, volume and density. Treatments on statistical mechanics, define a macrostate as follows: a particular set of values of energy, the number of particles, and the volume of an isolated thermodynamic system is said to specify a particular macrostate of it. In this description, microstates appear as different possible ways the system can achieve a particular macrostate.
A macrostate is characterized by a probability distribution of possible states across a certain statistical ensemble of all microstates. This distribution describes the probability of finding the system in a certain microstate. In the thermodynamic limit, the microstates visited by a macroscopic system during its fluctuations all have the same macroscopic properties.Microstate continuum
A microstate continuum is the fluctuation spectrum of a thermodynamic system in the classical limit of high temperatures. Classical here is to be understood in opposition to quantum statistical mechanics.Partition function (statistical mechanics)
In physics, a partition function describes the statistical properties of a system in thermodynamic equilibrium. Partition functions are functions of the thermodynamic state variables, such as the temperature and volume. Most of the aggregate thermodynamic variables of the system, such as the total energy, free energy, entropy, and pressure, can be expressed in terms of the partition function or its derivatives. The partition function is dimensionless, it is a pure number.
Each partition function is constructed to represent a particular statistical ensemble (which, in turn, corresponds to a particular free energy). The most common statistical ensembles have named partition functions. The canonical partition function applies to a canonical ensemble, in which the system is allowed to exchange heat with the environment at fixed temperature, volume, and number of particles. The grand canonical partition function applies to a grand canonical ensemble, in which the system can exchange both heat and particles with the environment, at fixed temperature, volume, and chemical potential. Other types of partition functions can be defined for different circumstances; see partition function (mathematics) for generalizations. The partition function has many physical meanings, as discussed in Meaning and significance.Postage stamps and postal history of Liechtenstein
This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Liechtenstein.
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked Alpine microstate in Western Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over 160 square kilometres (62 sq mi), and it has an estimated population of 37,000. Its capital is Vaduz and the biggest town is Schaan.
The postal history of the principality pre-dates introduction of the first postage stamps in 1850. The principality was obliged to use Austrian stamps until 1912 when the first Liechtenstein issues were produced, although these were still issued under Austrian direction. Following the collapse of Habsburg Austria in 1918, Liechtenstein secured postal independence and began issuing its own stamps from July 1920.SMtv San Marino (TV channel)
SMtv San Marino is the television station of SMtv San Marino, the national public service broadcaster of San Marino, an enclaved microstate surrounded by Italy.
The channel mostly shows self-produced entertainment programming. It is also part of Eurovision Network (broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest) and the Italian television syndication K2. It also offers a Teletext service entitled, San Marino Video.
SMtv San Marino also is responsible for the Sammarinese participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. They debuted in 2008 with Miodio and placed last in the first semifinal, getting five points. After RAI, SMRTV also announced its comeback in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011. It reached the Grand Final in 2014 with Valentina Monetta's song Maybe and in 2019 with Serhat's song Say Na Na Na.Sammarinese cuisine
As San Marino is a microstate completely landlocked by Italy, Sammarinese cuisine is strongly similar to the Italian cuisine, especially that of the adjoining Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions. San Marino's primary agricultural products are cheese, wine and livestock, and cheesemaking is a primary economic activity in San Marino. San Marino participated in The Exposition Universelle of 1889, a world's fair held in Paris, France, with three exhibits of oils and cheese.San Marino RTV
San Marino RTV (Italian: Radiotelevisione della Repubblica di San Marino (San Marino RTV)) is the public service broadcaster of the microstate of San Marino.
San Marino RTV currently operates four television channels: San Marino RTV, San Marino RTV 2, San Marino RTV Sport and San Marino RTV Sat. It currently operates two radio stations, Radio San Marino and Radio San Marino Classic.