What is good governance?

Good governance in the context of countries is a broad term, and in that regards, it is difficult to find a unique definition. According to Fukuyama (2013), there are two dimensions to qualify governance as good or bad: the capacity of the state and the bureaucracy's autonomy. They both complement, in the sense that when the state is more capable, for instance through the collection of taxes, there should be more autonomy because the bureaucrats are able to conduct things well without being instructed with a lot of details. In less capable states, however, less discretion and more rules setting are desirable.

Another way to think about good governance is through outcomes. Since governments carry out with goals like the provision of public goods to its citizens, there is no better way to think about good governance other than through deliverables, which are precisely the one demanded by citizens, like security, health, education, water, the enforcement of contracts, protection to property, protection to the environment and their ability to vote and get paid fair wages.

Similarly, good governance might be approximated with provision of public services in an efficient manner, higher participation given to certain groups in the population like the poor and the minorities, the guarantee that citizens have the opportunity of checks and balances on the government, the establishment and enforcement of norms for the protection of the citizens and their property and the existence of independent judiciary systems.
Lawson (2011) in his review of Rothstein's book “The quality of government: corruption, social trust, and inequality in international perspective” mentions that the author relates good governance to the concept of impartiality, which is basically when the bureaucrats perform their tasks following the public interest rather than their self-interest. Lawson differs with him in that this impartial application of law ignores important factors like the economic liberalism, which matters due to its relation with economic growth.

SOURCE: Good governance; From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_governance#Good_governance_in_national_governments

CITATIONS BY WIKIPEDIA:
Fukuyama,, Francis (January 2013). "What Is Governance?". Center for Global Development. Working paper 314.

Rotberg, Robert (July 2014). "Good Governance Means Performance and Results". Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions. 27 (3): 511–518. doi:10.1111/gove.12084.

Grindle, Merilee (October 2004). "Good Enough Governance: Poverty Reduction and Reform in Developing Countries". Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions. 17 (4): 525–48. doi:10.1111/j.0952-1895.2004.00256.x.

Lawson, Robert (2012). "Book Review of Bo Rothstein: The quality of government: corruption, social trust, and inequality in international perspective". Public Choice. 150: 793–795.

Rothstein, Bo (2011). The quality of government: corruption, social trust, and inequality in international perspective. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Popular Posts