Journal Article


Declining to Learn From the East? The World Bank on ‘Governance and Development’

Published on 16 April 1993

The World Bank’s policy statement on good government – Governance and Development (1992) – represents the most thoughtful official contribution to the debate from the aid donors. It does not discuss good government in terms of type of political regime (e.g. multi-party competitive democracy with civil rights), as do many aid donors but deals instead with issues of government procedure and process and their implications for economic performance. Attention is focused on four key dimensions of good government; public sector management; accountability; the legal framework for development; and information and transparency. The document contains a great deal which is valuable. However, it is in some major respects both misleading and unhelpful in the face of real political problems. The overall approach is very much shaped by Western political social and legal doctrine, and appears not to have been influenced by the actual experiences of the most economically-successful countries, especially those of East Asia.


Mick Moore

Professorial Fellow

Publication details

published by
Moore, M
IDS Bulletin, volume 24, issue 1


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