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Making Democratic Governance Work: How Regimes Shape Prosperity, Welfare, and Peace

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This book focuses on three core questions. Is democratic governance good for economic prosperity? Has this type of regime accelerated progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals, social welfare, and human development? Does it generate a peace-dividend and reduce conflict at home? Despite the importance of understanding these questions and the vast research l This book focuses on three core questions. Is democratic governance good for economic prosperity? Has this type of regime accelerated progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals, social welfare, and human development? Does it generate a peace-dividend and reduce conflict at home? Despite the importance of understanding these questions and the vast research literature generated, remarkably little consensus has emerged about any of these issues. Within the international community, democracy and governance are widely advocated as intrinsically desirable and important goals. Nevertheless, alternative schools of thought continue to dispute their consequences and thus the most effective strategy for achieving a range of critical developmental objectives. Some believe that human development is largely determined by structural conditions in each society, such as geographic location, natural resources, and the reservoir of human capital, so that regimes have minimal impact. Others advocate promoting democracy to insure that leaders are responsive to social needs and accountable to citizens for achieving better schools, clinics, and wages. Yet others counter that governance capacity is essential for delivering basic public services, and state-building is essential in post-conflict reconstruction prior to holding elections. This book advances the argument that both liberal democracy and state capacity need to be strengthened in parallel to ensure effective development, within the constraints posed by structural conditions. Liberal democracy allows citizens to express their demands, to hold public officials to account, and to rid themselves of incompetent, corrupt, or ineffective leaders. Yet rising public demands that cannot be met by the state are a recipe for frustration, generating disillusionment with incumbent officeholders, or, if discontent spreads to becomes more diffuse, with the way that the regime works, or even ultimately with the promise of liberal democracy ideals. Thus governance capacity is also predicted to play a vital role in advancing human security, so that states have the capacity to respond effectively to citizen's demands. The argument is demonstrated using systematic evidence gathered from countries worldwide during recent decades and selected cases illustrating the effects of regime change on development."


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This book focuses on three core questions. Is democratic governance good for economic prosperity? Has this type of regime accelerated progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals, social welfare, and human development? Does it generate a peace-dividend and reduce conflict at home? Despite the importance of understanding these questions and the vast research l This book focuses on three core questions. Is democratic governance good for economic prosperity? Has this type of regime accelerated progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals, social welfare, and human development? Does it generate a peace-dividend and reduce conflict at home? Despite the importance of understanding these questions and the vast research literature generated, remarkably little consensus has emerged about any of these issues. Within the international community, democracy and governance are widely advocated as intrinsically desirable and important goals. Nevertheless, alternative schools of thought continue to dispute their consequences and thus the most effective strategy for achieving a range of critical developmental objectives. Some believe that human development is largely determined by structural conditions in each society, such as geographic location, natural resources, and the reservoir of human capital, so that regimes have minimal impact. Others advocate promoting democracy to insure that leaders are responsive to social needs and accountable to citizens for achieving better schools, clinics, and wages. Yet others counter that governance capacity is essential for delivering basic public services, and state-building is essential in post-conflict reconstruction prior to holding elections. This book advances the argument that both liberal democracy and state capacity need to be strengthened in parallel to ensure effective development, within the constraints posed by structural conditions. Liberal democracy allows citizens to express their demands, to hold public officials to account, and to rid themselves of incompetent, corrupt, or ineffective leaders. Yet rising public demands that cannot be met by the state are a recipe for frustration, generating disillusionment with incumbent officeholders, or, if discontent spreads to becomes more diffuse, with the way that the regime works, or even ultimately with the promise of liberal democracy ideals. Thus governance capacity is also predicted to play a vital role in advancing human security, so that states have the capacity to respond effectively to citizen's demands. The argument is demonstrated using systematic evidence gathered from countries worldwide during recent decades and selected cases illustrating the effects of regime change on development."

33 review for Making Democratic Governance Work: How Regimes Shape Prosperity, Welfare, and Peace

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael Griswold

    Pippa Norris is a Harvard trained political scientist who has written numerous books on various topics of concern to poli-sci heads. In her latest work Making Democratic Governance Work : How Regimes Shape Prosperity, Welfare, and Peace, Norris uses several case studies to illustrate that the adoption of liberal democracy alone does not make for economic prosperity, human security and peace. Rather there needs to be a combination of effective state institutions that can implement policy and libe Pippa Norris is a Harvard trained political scientist who has written numerous books on various topics of concern to poli-sci heads. In her latest work Making Democratic Governance Work : How Regimes Shape Prosperity, Welfare, and Peace, Norris uses several case studies to illustrate that the adoption of liberal democracy alone does not make for economic prosperity, human security and peace. Rather there needs to be a combination of effective state institutions that can implement policy and liberal democracy. While I don't have a problem with the general theory because it seems perfectly reasonable, Norris doesn't really cover how we get there. Sounds like your relying an awful lot on the idea that in many often unstable polities, there's a true and dedicated democrat among the sea of would be autocrats. Politicians by their nature remain indebted to the institutions or lack of institutions that brought them to office. If they have no incentive to change them, they won't. Institutions that do develop also create a level of path dependency quite often and in the very worst cases...an iron law of oligarchy. This suggests a very difficult road for the twin goals of institution building and democracy. One important point that Norris does make is that the path goes from state capacity---democracy, rather then democracy---state capacity. The latter approach seems to rely on democracy ascending from the heavens and a state rising up around it, which hasn't proven very fruitful in many developing/third world/Global South countries. In sum, Norris has written a solid book with plenty of evidentiary support for her theory, but how we get to that point remains an elusive question for me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kristoffer Eknes

  3. 5 out of 5

    Malvika

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tom Crawford

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amber

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lucía Cortés

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael Thompson

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dana Sweeney

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erich Luna

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gunnar Johnsen

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joel Aaltonen

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gerry

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Parr

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    Nilar Myaing

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chit Coral

  16. 5 out of 5

    Simphiwe

  17. 4 out of 5

    Diana Arsenal

  18. 5 out of 5

    Steve Dustcircle

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wigke Capri

  20. 5 out of 5

    Efi

  21. 4 out of 5

    Charles

  22. 4 out of 5

    Renan Virginio

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amar Baines

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dren

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alan

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  27. 5 out of 5

    Muhammad Nouman

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lara Saade

  31. 5 out of 5

    Erling Kvalø

  32. 4 out of 5

    Michael Fiumano

  33. 5 out of 5

    Silje

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