9.1   Summary of Major Issues in Improving Governance

 (This is a current extract from the Patterns of Power Repository.  An archived copy of this page is held at http://www.patternsofpower.org/edition02/91.htm)

The introduction to this book identified four ways of measuring governance, which were further examined in chapter 2: acceptability (2.3.3), negotiability (2.4) inclusiveness (2.5) and prudence (2.6).  Subsequent chapters then described the patterns of power in each dimension.  This chapter picks out some of the patterns which offer ways of improving governance, i.e. increasing the scores against the four measures:

·      Negotiability is particularly important in relation to the profound disagreements between individualists and collectivists, which have been referred to throughout the book.  A mutually-acceptable balance, between individual freedom and the needs of society as a whole, needs to be continually adjusted (9.2).

·      Inclusiveness would be significantly improved by taking steps to facilitate peaceful pluralism (9.3).

·      Prudence is difficult to measure, even retrospectively, but it is possible to hold leaders to account for lack of it (9.4), as part of the wider subject of holding them to account for their performance. 

·      Acceptability partly depends upon the above three measures, but also upon the other requirements of governance – of which one of the most important and widely agreed is to provide security.  There ought to be a better way of maintaining international security (9.5).

These four issues are examined below. 

The issue of refusal to negotiate is then examined (9.6), because it clearly affects the chance of reaching agreement on better governance.

The book then closes by summarising ways of meeting the suggested list of 12 requirements (9.7) which people might expect from governance.

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