What is Quality of Government? A Theory of Impartial Political Institutions
The last years have seen a growth in research on “good governance” and the quality of government institutions. This development has been propelled by empirical findings that such institutions might hold the key to understanding economic growth in developing countries. We argue that a key issue has not been addressed, namely the question of what “good governance”—or the quality of government —actually means at the conceptual level. Economists’ definitions are either extremely broad or suffer from a functionalist slant that weakens their applicability. We argue that a more coherent and specific definition of quality of government is necessary to attain, and propose one such definition, namely the impartiality of government institutions that implement government policies. The argument is based on the idea that a democratic system has two sides that are guided by opposite norms: partisanship for the representational process and impartiality for the process of implementation.
Link to web site