Is Good Governance Good for Development?

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Whilst good governance is a worthy goal by itself, this book argues that it is not a prerequisite for economic growth or development. Challenging the conventional good governance paradigm favoured by the donor community, this book exposes the methodological shortcomings of the commonly-used governance indicators developed within the World Bank. It argues that aggregate good governance indicators are less helpful for identifying governance failure in specific areas needing policy interventions. Bringing together contributions from leading political scientists, political economists and development practitioners, this is the first book that focuses on such good governance issues.



Perception and misperception in governance research: Evidence from Latin America

This chapter identifies and takes issue with a potentially troubling development in the study of comparative politics. While political scientists have traditionally deployed objective indicators of ‘political organization and administrative capacity’ (Reynolds 1983: 976), including tax ratios (Organski and Kugler 1980; Benson and Kugler 1998), tax structures (Kling 1959; Krasner 1985), political participation (Przeworski and Sprague 1971), and the nature and extent of public service provision (Migdal 1988; Putnam 1993), they are beginning to import subjective indicators of ‘governance’ from economics (Sandholtz and Gray 2003; Fish 2005; Gerring and Thacker 2005; Blake and Martin 2006; Cameron, Blanaru and Burns 2006). The customary distinction between objective and subjective measurement is, by now, less salient than the various differences among the subjective or ‘perceptions-based’ alternatives (Kaufmann, Kraay and Mastruzzi 2005a). Whose perceptions do they capture? Of which institutions or issue areas? And to what effect?


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