This chapter explores the weak states in international relations employ two basic methodological approaches. One is a "horizontal section", namely an attempt to develop general theories for the position and conduct of weak states in the international system. The other is a "vertical section", a study in depth of the foreign policy of one weak state in a given period of history. The chapter analyzes all the available theoretical literature on weak states in international relations, as well as to look into as many case studies as possible. The historical period and the structure of the international system in which the position of weak states is examined are of great importance. It is possible to distinguish between cycles of security or insecurity, influence or impotence of the weak states in the international system. The position and relative security of any weak state must be gauged in terms of the specific international system in which it is operating.