Defining Governance

What is this Governance thing Anyway?

In most cases, the word ‘good’ is whacked in front of the word ‘governance’. This is then interpreted as a mix of liberal democratic and free market institutions, where accountability, transparency, participation and inclusion are the dominant principles[1].

We, at this blog site, do not subscribe to this view for the simple reason that there is no evidence to support it.

The evidence tells us that countries get rich first, then they get ‘good’ government, not vice-versa.

So for the purposes of this blog, we borrow heavily from the World Bank’s latest World Development Report – defining ‘governance’ as:

“….the process through which state and non-state actors interact to negotiate, design and implement policies, within a set of formal and informal rules that shape and are shaped by power.”

See our first blog post for more ‘soap-box-ing’ on what our view of this ‘governance’ thing is.

[1] Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher, “Accountability, transparency, participation and inclusion: A new development consensus?” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 2014.

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