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Governance Seminar

Issued on

13 February 2013, 9:30am - 3:00pm


Since the early 1990s, there seems to be a consensus emerging around the need for ‘good governance’ as a pre-condition for development. Yet there is little conceptual clarity on what this might mean or how it might be operationalised in development practice. Governance focuses on the relationship between politics, institutions and collective action and how these frame development, poverty reduction and democratic objectives.

Good governance refers to the political and institutional processes and outcomes deemed necessary for democratic development and poverty reduction. Its key attributes are usually seen to include: transparency; responsibility; accountability; participation and responsiveness. There have been recent call to move beyond ‘good governance’ to ‘good enough governance‘ by ‘working with the grain’ in developing countries, but it is a moot point whether this has fundamentally altered the overall paradigm.

How might we assess the governance agenda twenty years on since it arrived on the scene to make up for the deficiencies of the anti-state development orthodoxy of the time? A critical balance-sheet of the ‘good governance’ agenda is now arguably overdue. Is it part of an ethnocentric view of the world which assumes the ‘West is best’? Does it encroach on the sovereignty of nations if tied to aid? Can good governance really be measured by clustering the usual indicators? Does the historical comparative development experience show a positive correlation between good governance and development? As an overarching political paradigm does it seek to explain too much and end up illuminating very little? Finally, does Brazil, for example, offer another perspective on governance as part of a non-Northern development agenda?

The DSAI seminar on Development and the Governance Agenda will address some of these questions as part of its role as a shared enabling platform for development researchers, policy makers and practitioners. This will be a relatively small, fully participatory seminar, aimed at open discussion to take the Irish development and governance agenda forward. Speakers include: Mick Moore (IDS Sussex), Donal Cronin (Irish Aid), Tanja Kleibl (Trocaire) and David Booth (ODI).

The Programme for this event is available to download here.

Attendance is free. Advanced Registration is required, please to book your place.


The Helix, Dublin City University

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