About this Book Review
An array of strategies have been advocated to promote development around the world since World War II, with emphasis in recent decades on the importance of good governance. However, these strategies have clearly failed to lift significant portions of the global population out of poverty and insecurity and into stable, well-governed societies. Despite a handful of success stories, most developing states remain stuck in the “poverty trap” of weak governments that are too poor to produce the stability and rule of law needed for economic growth and unable to strengthen themselves without economic growth.
M.A. Thomas argues that “good governance” strategies fail because of a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the state in developing countries. Thomas argues that poor governments do not just govern less, they govern differently. Unable to afford the rule of law and social welfare provisions that legitimate the state in the wealthy West, poor states instead rely on older strategies of patronage, clientalism, and repression to stay in power, buying off individuals and groups or suppressing resistance. Development aid that expects poor countries to act like rich ones is doomed to failure, as aid is siphoned off in graft and redirected to preserve the position of weak elites. Good governance is therefore, per Thomas, a worthy goal but n
To continue reading, see options above.
About PSQ's EditorDemetrios James Caraley
Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.
From the Archives
LONDON TERRORIST ATTACK
Tactical Advantages of Terror
RICHARD BETTS applies offense-defense theory to explain the intense advantages that terrorist groups have in launching offensive strikes and in exploiting the defenses that a nation can put up in this era of globalization and asymmetric warfare.
Search the Archives
Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilsonview additional issues
Articles | Book reviews
Academy of Political Science
The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.
Political Science Quarterly
With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.