What Is Governance?
Version of Record online: 3 MAR 2013
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc
Volume 26, Issue 3, pages 347–368, July 2013
How to Cite
Fukuyama, F. (2013), What Is Governance?. Governance, 26: 347–368. doi: 10.1111/gove.12035
- Issue online: 20 MAY 2013
- Version of Record online: 3 MAR 2013
This commentary points to the poor state of empirical measures of the quality of states, that is, executive branches and their bureaucracies. Much of the problem is conceptual, as there is very little agreement on what constitutes high-quality government. The commentary suggests four approaches: (1) procedural measures, such as the Weberian criteria of bureaucratic modernity; (2) capacity measures, which include both resources and degree of professionalization; (3) output measures; and (4) measures of bureaucratic autonomy. It rejects output measures and suggests a two-dimensional framework of using capacity and autonomy as a measure of executive branch quality. This framework explains the conundrum of why low-income countries are advised to reduce bureaucratic autonomy while high-income ones seek to increase it.