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Title: A capacity for policy management : re-appraising the context in micro-states
Authors: Warrington, Edward
Keywords: Public policy -- Congresses
Public administration -- Congresses
States, Small -- Politics and government
Policy sciences -- Congresses
Issue Date: 1992
Publisher: International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration
Citation: Warrington, E. (1992). A capacity for policy management : re-appraising the context in micro-states. Annual Conference of the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration, Vienna, Austria. 1-28
Abstract: Current images of micro-states primeval idyll; caricature of pretentious inconsequentiality; disenchanted Paradise; dependence - sum up the conventional wisdom about them in allusions which, though accurate, are incomplete. (1) languid striking As the foregoing statements demonstrate, however, policy recommendations rest on such images. have been inveigled Perhaps, because micro-states are small, we into thinking that they are easily comprehensible; that their problems are manageable, reqmnng good technique, but ¬∑little thought about fundamentals. Perhaps we doubt, after all, whether Paradise needs policies. If living in Eden is easy, is a high-sounding "capacity for policy management" required to quell "rumblings of dissent"? And is it not pretentious for small nations to aspire to anything quite so sophisticated? Micro-states seem to lend themselves to elegant solutions: but, perhaps, policymakers and their advisers have strayed from simplicity to superficiality. This paper does not set out to 'prove' the validity or the fallacy of contemporary policy and administrative prescriptions for micro-states: it merely strikes a note of caution. It considers how scale may affect policy agendas, policy-making processes and governing institutions. Drawing on the experiences of several micro-states, I have tried to synthesise a coherent, multi-dimensional image, but recognise the great diversity within the group. I do not claim that any of the statements made here necessarily apply to all microstates; still less do I claim that they constitute a. 'model' of microstate policy-making. Is the term 'micro-state', then, a useful analytical category?
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