I am reading the book Development Economics through the Decades: A Critical Look at Thirty Years of the World Development Report by Shahid Yusuf (2008). I struggle to understand the meaning of " functional" in the following sentence:
They are at best functional and at worst weak.
Here is the full context:
The interest of policy makers lies not in whether the state should be large or small or more or less interventionist; the interest is in what specific forms of intervention over a period of time yield the best results under similar external circumstances. The same is true regarding institutions. Everyone can see that market institutions in successful East Asian industrializing countries are at best functional and at worst weak and minimally supportive.
I would be grateful if anyone could explain meaning of the phrase in that last sentence.