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Assessing the Structure of Small Welfare States
Geoff Bertram

COMMONWEALTH SECRETARIAT

© Commonwealth Secretariat and United Nations Research Institute for Social Development 2011 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording orotherwise without the permission of the publisher. Published by the Commonwealth Secretariat Edited and designed by Wayzgoose Cover design by Tattersall Hammarling & Silk Printed by Hobbs the Printers, Totton, Hampshire Established in 1963, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) is an autonomous institution within the UN system that carries out multidisciplinary researchon the social dimensions of contemporary development issues. Through its research, UNRISD stimulates dialogue and contributes to policy debates on key issues of social development within and outside the UN system. Visit www.unrisd.org for full details. The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 countries that support each other and work together towards shared goals in democracy anddevelopment. The Commonwealth Secretariat executes plans agreed by Commonwealth Heads of Government through technical assistance, advice and policy development. It works as a trusted partner for all Commonwealth people as: a force for peace, democracy, equality and good governance; a catalyst for global consensus-building; and a source of assistance for sustainable development and poverty eradication.Views and opinions expressed in this publication are the responsibility of the authors and should in no way be attributed to the institutions to which they are affiliated or to the Commonwealth Secretariat or UNRISD. Wherever possible, the Commonwealth Secretariat uses paper sourced from sustainable forests or from sources that minimise a destructive impact on the environment. Copies of thispublication may be obtained from Publications Section Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)20 7747 6534 Fax: +44 (0)20 7839 9081 Email: publications@commonwealth.int Web: www.thecommonwealth.org/publications A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library. ISBN: 978-1-84929-050-0 (paperback) ISBN:978-1-84859-102-8 (downloadable e-book)

About the author
Geoff Bertram is a Senior Associate, Institute of Policy Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Contents
Foreword 1 2 3 4 5 Introduction Defining and Characterising the Welfare State Classifications of Welfare States Welfare States and Globalisation The Influence of Openness on the Modus Operandi of a Small Welfare StateInstitutional Governance in Welfare States Conclusions vii 1 4 9 11 18

6 7

21 24 25

Appendix: Quantitative Indicators Relating to the Welfare State in Small States References

29

ASSESSING THE STRUCTURE OF SMALL WELFARE STATES

v

Foreword
During the 1960s and 1970s, increased interest was shown by some international organisations, such as the United Nations and the CommonwealthSecretariat, in small states, notably small island states, and the development challenges they faced during the decolonisation period. With over a third of Commonwealth countries classified as small economies, the Secretariat is committed to the study of small states. The issue of their vulnerability, for example, was first given formal expression within the Commonwealth at the 1977 CommonwealthFinance Ministers Meeting in Barbados. Having noted the special characteristics of small states, in particular their reliance on trade, high dependence on capital inflows and, in some cases, their lack of natural resources, ministers urged the international community to adopt a more flexible approach to their requirements, as well as special measures to assist them. In response, the Secretariat...
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