The twists and turns of institutional innovation in small island developing states: the case of Tuvalu

Nelson Oppong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


The question of institutional reform in small island developing states (SIDS) has so far attracted two general perspectives. The predominant approach prescribes neo-Weberian principles such as de-politicisation, neutrality, ‘professionalism', continuity and anonymity, and rational-bureaucratic structures. Critics highlight contextual specificities and maintain that Weberian principles are not plausible amid key constraints in SIDS including low human and logistical capacity, pervasive inter-personal and cross-cutting relations, and difficulty in attaining anonymity in public affairs. This debate remains largely intuitive, without the requisite empirical insights about the peculiar institutional trajectories and incentive structures driving change and continuity within SIDS. This paper provides a critical examination of the enduring quagmire of institutional development in SIDS based on a comprehensive account of the experience of Tuvalu
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-45
JournalCommonwealth & Comparative Politics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2016


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