Chapter

Governance and Growth: History, Ideology, and Methods of Proof

Mushtaq H. Khan

in Good Growth and Governance in Africa

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199698561
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738142 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199698561.003.0002

Series: Initiative for Policy Dialogue

Governance and Growth: History, Ideology, and Methods of Proof

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Governance plays a critical role in development, but what should governance reform in developing countries focus on? The advice given to Africa in common with other developing countries has focused on building a set of governance capabilities that are described as “good governance.” These focus on enforcing property rights, a rule of law, reducing corruption, and improving government accountability. These are all desirable governance conditions but the historical evidence does not suggest that developing countries can achieve these capabilities to an extent that can make a significant contribution to their long-term growth. Rather, the evidence suggests that successful developing countries had more specific governance capabilities that helped to sustain growth and development. These capabilities were country-specific because initial political and institutional conditions were significantly different across countries as were the economic problems that had to be addressed. This evidence suggests that governance reform priorities for Africa have to be rethought.

Keywords: governance reform; good governance; growth-enhancing governance; development

Chapter.  11833 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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