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Thread: The Meaning of Governance: Ranking Africa

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    Default The Meaning of Governance: Ranking Africa

    From the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, 6 Oct 08: The Meaning of Governance: Ranking Africa
    All citizens of all countries desire to be governed well. That is what citizens want from the nation-states in which they live. Thus, nation-states in the modern world are responsible for the delivery of essential political goods to their inhabitants. That is their purpose, and has been their central legitimate justification since at least the seventeenth century. The essential political goods can be summarized and gathered under five categories: Safety and Security; Rule of Law, Transparency, and Corruption; Participation and Human Rights; Sustainable Economic Opportunity; and Human Development. Together, these five categories of political goods epitomize the performance of any government, at any level. No one, whether looking to her village, municipality, province, state, or nation, willingly wants to be victimized by crime or to live in a society without laws, freedom, the chance to prosper, or access to decent schools, well-run hospitals, and well-maintained roads.

    This 2008 Index measures the degree to which each of these political goods is provided within the forty-eight African countries south of the Sahara. By comprehensively measuring the performance of government in this manner, that is, by measuring governance, the Index is able to offer a report card on the accomplishments of each government for the years being investigated—2000 and 2002 (for baseline indications) and 2005 and 2006 (the last years with reasonably complete available data for nearly all sub-Saharan African nation-states)......

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    All citizens of all countries desire to be governed well. That is what citizens want from the nation-states in which they live. Thus, nation-states in the modern world are responsible for the delivery of essential political goods to their inhabitants.
    Nothing ethnocentric in that opening statement. Kinda like everyone wants democracy. We in the West would supposedly like all nation-states to be so oriented. That is also less than true because we don't always accept that how a nation-state meets needs that are defined locally is the true test, not a list of five categories that has been their central legitimate justification since at least the seventeenth century.


    No one, whether looking to her village, municipality, province, state, or nation, willingly wants to be victimized by crime or to live in a society without laws, freedom, the chance to prosper, or access to decent schools, well-run hospitals, and well-maintained roads.
    But they would if given the chance chose to victimize someone else, especially if they could do so without penalty or even better be actively rewarded for such behavior. The same applies to roads, schools, access to medical care.

    This sort of thinking was the platform for Op Restore Hope: the belief that giving assistance is inherently non-threatening and therefore acceptable on the ground.

    More political science/sociology gone wild

    Tom

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