Democracy and Good Governance Is a Coin of the Same Side. Discuss

NAME: EVANS KWAME ADJEI COURSE: POLI 101 DEMOCRACY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE ARE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN. DISCUSS Good governance is an indeterminate term used in development literature to describe how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in order to guarantee the realization of human rights. It also can be said as the competent management of a country’s resources and affairs in a manner that is open, transparent, accountable, equitable and responsive to people’s needs.

Democracy is a form of government whereby citizens take part in the decision making and administration of the country. Ideally, this includes equal (more or less direct) participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law. In practicing good governance, democracy is observed. First of all, democracies allow populations to peacefully and regularly oust inept, inefficient and corrupt government administrators, while allowing people to keep more efficient, successful regimes, thus tending to make the quality of governance on average higher in the long run.

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On the other hand, authoritarian regimes may randomly provide high-quality Governance, but if they do not, they can only be changed by force, which may take years or decades longer than under democratic institutions. Indeed, democracy is not strictly essential for good governance, just as well as bad governance is quite possible under formal democratic structures. However, it considers that free, fair, and competitive elections do make it possible to remove bad or corrupt political leaders.

Thus they encourage leaders to govern more effectively, in the public interest. Democracy also gives citizens non-electoral means – associations, movements, the media – to monitor officials and participate in policymaking. In addition, leaders in democracies have stronger incentives (and more institutional means and obligations) to explain and justify their decisions and to consult a broad range of constituencies before making decisions.

Such participation and debate give the public a stronger sense of policy ownership. As a result policies are more sustainable and government is more legitimate. For these and other reasons, it is strongly in the interest of development assistance agencies to promote both democracy and good governance. In these circumstances economies grow, human welfare improves, trade expands, political stability and capacity deepen, and countries become more responsible and resourceful members of the international community.

By contrast, when governance is bad and undemocratic or only superficially democratic, the pathologies of development inevitably have regional and global consequences; Poverty becomes entrenched, reflecting the resources wasted by corruption and distorted investment; Chronic fiscal deficits drain and ultimately drive away international resources; The absence of the rule of law permits-and poverty drives-wanton destruction of the environment and depletion of biodiversity, threatening the global ecological balance (and robbing the world of new medical and agricultural breakthroughs) in ways not fully grasped.

Furthermore, there is also evidence that non-democratic countries with a low quality of governance cannot sustain their economic growth in the long run without good governance. For example we go back to Indonesia’s case and its stock market crash in 1998 because the government could not service its debt payments as previously mentioned. Without good governance, people had no voice and control on the risks their government assumed.

More importantly, without transparency and freedom of the press, people had no way to understand these risks and to hold their leaders accountable. As a consequence, Indonesia’s growth rate fell from 9 % (annual) in 1990 to –13 % in 1998; and its inflation rate increased from 7. 8 % in 1990 to 57. 64% in 1998. If democracy is associated with improved governance, then it will also lead to accelerated innovation and economic growth.

After providing existing definitions of good governance, democracy and economic growth, this paper has listed the various viewpoints of how good governance affects long-run growth through its impact on the quality of governance of a country. This issue was explored both on the theoretical and empirical level, from multilateral organizations (particularly UNDP and the World Bank), and from scholars all throughout.

Democracy and economic development are the ends to be achieved in a sustainable way, and this cannot be guaranteed without the greasing and conditioning process of good governance. REFERENCE * Barro, Robert J. , “Democracy and Growth,” Journal of Economic Growth, 1(1996). * Goetzmann, William, “Democracy before Debt,” The New York Times, October 22, 1999. * USAID, Foreign Aid in the National Interest: Promoting Freedom, Security, and Opportunity. http://www. usaid. gov/fani/.