2. Good governance
– the concept
In the last twenty years, the concepts of
“governance” and “good governance” have become
widely used in both the academic and donor
communities. These two traditions have dissimilar
conceptualisations. First, there is the academic
approach, which focuses mainly on the study of
the different ways in which power and authority
relations are structured in a given society. Second,
there is the donor community’s approach, which
puts emphasis on the role state structures play in
ensuring social, economic and policy equity and
accountability through open policy processes.
G o o d G o v e r n a n c e i n M u lt i e t h n i c C o m m u n i t i e s
What is good governance?
According to the academic approach, the generic
understanding of governance is the management
of resources and policy-making by means of exercising authority (power). Thus, it entails all instruments through which different policy stakeholders exercise legal rights with the aim to achieve political, economic, cultural and social
objectives. In this sense, the term “governance”
appears to be more and more used in order to denote a complex set of structures and processes (at the public as well as at the private level), which are
generally associated with national administration.
However, its definitions offer a rather broad horizon of interpretation: wherever we can find this term, its definition varies slightly. For instance, in
strengthen good governance in any society. The
most often enlisted principles include: participation, rule of law, transparency of decisionmaking or openness, accountability, predictability or coherence, and effectiveness. The international donor community generally shares the view that these principles stand at the foundation of sustainable development.
The first characteristic refers to equal participation by all members of society as the key element of good governance, with everyone having a role in the process of decision-making. Second
ly, good governance implies the rule of law
maintained through the impartiality and effectiveness of the legal system. Rule of law also
the Report of the Commission on Global
overnance “Our Global Neighbourhood” (1995)
governance is defined as:
means the protection of human rights (particularly those of minorities), independent judiciary and impartial and incorruptible law enforcement agencies. The rule of law involves a variety of conditions, being strongly connected to good
administration of justice, good legal framework,
verified dispute mechanisms, equal access to
justice, and the independence of judiciary
orkers (lawyers, judges).
Good governance is also based on the transparency of the decision-making process, which ensures that information is freely available and
accessible to those involved or affected by the
decisions taken. Transparency therefore means
free access to information. Last, but not least,
accountability and responsibility (of the institutions, just as much as of the civil society) are key requirements of good governance, with all
of the participants in the political and economic processes being accountable for their decisions to each other.
The sum of the many ways individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs. It is a continuing process through which
conflicting or diverse interests may be accommodated and co-operative action may be taken. It includes formal institutions and regimes empowered to enforce compliance, as well as informal arrangements that people and institutions either have agreed to or perceive to be in their interest.1
“Good governance” is a normative conception
of the values according to which the act of
overnance is realized, and the method by
which groups of social actors interact in a certain social context. The lack of a generally accepted definition of the concept is compensated by the identification of...
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