Handbook of Governance in Small States  book cover
1st Edition

Handbook of Governance in Small States

ISBN 9781032399850
Published August 29, 2022 by Routledge
456 Pages

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Book Description

This volume covers a wide spectrum of governance issues relating to small states in a global context. While different definitions of governance are given in the chapters, most authors associate governance with the setting and implementation of policies aimed at managing a country or territory, and with the related institutional structures and interventions by political actors. Generally, good governance is associated with concepts such as policy effectiveness, accountability, transparency, control of corruption, encouragement of citizens’ voice and gender equality—factors which are, in turn, linked with democracy. What emerges from the book is that the societies of small states are being re-shaped by various forces outside their control, including the globalization process and climate change, rendering their governance ever more complex. These problems are not solely faced by small states, but small country size tends to lead to a higher degree of exposure to external factors.

The chapters are grouped into four sections broadly covering political, environmental, social and economic governance. Governance is influenced by many, often intertwined, factors; the division of the book into four parts therefore does not detract from the fact that governance is multifaceted, and such division was based on the primary focus of each particular study and its main disciplinary background. The expert authors have, moreover, used a variety of approaches in the studies, the subject of small states being well suited to scholarly work from different disciplines using qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches to arrive at useful conclusions.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Governance complexities in small states

Lino Briguglio, Jessica Byron, Stefano Moncada and Wouter Veenendaal


1 Governing small states: A review

Dag Anckar

2 Navigating hyper-fragmentation in small states: A comparison of Solomon Islands and Vanuatu

Wouter Veenendaal and Jack Corbett

3 Small islands with strong democracies? The experience of decentralization in Cabo Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe

Edalina Rodrigues Sanches

4 Parties, elections and political maturation in the UK Overseas Territories

Peter Clegg

5 An examination of the institutional governance mechanisms to promote political integrity in Barbados

Philmore Alleyne and Cynthia Barrow-Giles

6 Public administration in small European states: Size, characteristics and performance

Marlene Jugl

7 Nordic cooperation as a form of governance: Iceland’s sheltered society

Baldur Thorhallsson and Sverrir Steinsson

8 The nature and extent of fragility traps in small states

David Carment, Simon Langlois-Bertrand and Yiagadeesen Samy


9 Policy measures addressing nearly zero-energy buildings in the small island state of Malta

Damien Gatt and Charles Yousif

10 A comparative case study of environmental governance in Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands

Andrea C. Simonelli

11 Integration of climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and development in Vanuatu: A systems perspective

Amy Savage, Corey Huber and Hilary Bambrick

12 Dealing with climate change at all levels: Small island developing states between global climate negotiations and national climate policies

Carola Klöck

13 Environmental governance in small island developing states: Challenges and opportunities for transformation using a Trinidad and Tobago case study

Michelle Mycoo

14 Emissions and economic development in small states: The role of governance

Jessica Camilleri, Jonathan Spiteri and Marie Briguglio

15 Environmental governance in Mauritius: Evidence from the Environmental Performance Index

Taruna Ramessur


16 South-South mobility, regionalism and governance in Pacific islands

Alessio Cangiano and Andreea R. Torre

17 Against the tide? A socio-legal review of Caribbean SIDS’ (non)-compliance with international agreements on migrants and refugees and the protection of vulnerable migrants

Natalie Dietrich Jones

18 Social protection data management in small states: The case of Cabo Verde

Pedro Lara Arruda and Raquel Tebaldi

19 Enabling adaptive governance through social capital in small island developing states

Jan Petzold

20 Social governance in the Eastern Caribbean small island states

Godfrey St Bernard and Lino Briguglio


21 Strengthening fiscal frameworks and improving the spending mix in small states

Ezequiel Cabezon, Patrizia Tumbarello and Yiqun Wu

22 Country size, governance and expenditure on defence and education: Realpolitik and the peace dividend for small economies

Robert Read

23 Building resilience and reducing vulnerabilities through innovative financing in the Caribbean

Howard Haughton and Jodie Keane

24 The ‘remittance trap’: Should we be concerned for small Pacific island countries?

Ron Duncan

25 Prescriptions for growth and broad-based development in Pacific island countries

Te'o Ian Fairbairn

26 Economic governance and economic growth in Mauritius

Boopen Seetanah , Harris Neeliah and Raja V. Sannassee

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Lino Briguglio is Professor of Economics and Director of the Islands and Small States Institute at

the University of Malta.


Jessica Byron is Professor of Caribbean International Relations and Diplomacy and Director of

the Institute for International Relations at the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West



Stefano Moncada is a lecturer and researcher in development economics and climate change at

the University of Malta.


Wouter Veenendaal is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Leiden University, the Netherlands.



Handbook of Governance in Small States is a timely and relevant addition to both academia and
the policy world. It successfully advances one’s understanding of the political economy of
development in small states, with pertinent references to their viability in the context of
climate change. From a practical standpoint, it offers policy solutions that – while requiring
further consultation for strategic and effective implementation – contain high-level policy
recommendations that can direct small states toward improving their governance performance.
The book, therefore, is not only suitable for students and academics, but is a valuable tool for
policy makers alike. Exoteric and insightful, the book will also connect with casual learners
interested in issues affecting development in small states. The text comprises 26 chapters written
by a group of scholars, researchers, and specialist practitioners; working in the fields of sociology,
politics, economics, international political economy, development studies, environmental
sciences, and engineering. The contributors work in various capacities across government
agencies, universities, and international finance institutions, in some cases, criss-crossing
platforms. They thus bring to the book a wealth of theoretical and practical knowledge in
important, cross-cutting themes under social, economic, environmental, and political governance.

The Handbook is divided neatly into four parts: Political Governance, Environmental
Governance, Social Governance, and Economic Governance. Each section has between six
and eight chapters, outlining various topics under the respective themes. Generally, concepts
are properly defined, and in cases where they are not, authors outline areas for further work
to improve conceptual clarity. This extends to areas of limitations of data. Methodologically,
chapters display intellectual rigour, making use of quantitative, qualitative, or mixed method
data gathering approaches. The chapters make judicious use of statistical tables where
applicable and necessary, in order to enhance analytical clarity. The chapters make good use
of multi-year data (as recent as 2019), as well as comparative analysis across small states, and
between small states and large economies. Chapters are not overly long, yet comprehensive
and thorough with adequate references for further delving into each topic.

- Courtney Lindsay, Independent Scholar