Winter 2004/2005
Publication:
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
The demonstrated link among poor governance, poverty, and nation-state failure makes strengthening the quality of governance in the developing world an urgent task. In weak, troubled states, there is a strong likelihood that an excess of grievances will offer fertile ground for the nurturing of terrorism. Thus, improving the governance capabilities and effectiveness of developing countries is crucial not only to fostering their economic development, but also to reducing the potential for local and global conflict. There is abundant talk in diplomatic and assistance circles about the need to improve governance in the developing world. Yet, little has been done or accomplished, largely because there is no basis on which a nation-state's governance effectiveness and quality can be assessed objectively and meaningfully, compared to the standards or best practices in its neighborhood or region. It is therefore essential to introduce a new method that is rigorous, bias-free, and capable of distinguishing degrees of good governance among countries.
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