What is Quality of Government: A Theory of Impartial Institutions

GOVERNANCE: An International Journal of Policy, Adminstration and Institutions, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 165-190, April 2008

26 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2009

See all articles by Jan Teorell

Jan Teorell

Lund University - Department of Political Science

Bo Rothstein

University of Gothenburg

Date Written: January 16, 2009

Abstract

The recent growth in research on "good governance" and the quality of government institutions has been propelled by empirical findings that show that such institutions may hold the key to understanding economic growth and social welfare in developing and transition countries. We argue, however, that a key issue has not been addressed, namely, what quality of government (QoG) actually means at the conceptual level. Based on analyses of political theory, we propose a more coherent and specific definition of QoG: the impartiality of institutions that exercise government authority. We relate the idea of impartiality to a series of criticisms stemming from the fields of public administration, public choice, multiculturalism, and feminism. To place the theory of impartiality in a larger context, we then contrast its scope and meaning with that of a threefold set of competing concepts of quality of government: democracy, the rule of law, and efficiency/effectiveness.

Keywords: Good Governance, Corruption, Impartiality, Rule of Law

Suggested Citation

Teorell, Jan and Rothstein, Bo, What is Quality of Government: A Theory of Impartial Institutions (January 16, 2009). GOVERNANCE: An International Journal of Policy, Adminstration and Institutions, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 165-190, April 2008 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1328817

Jan Teorell

Lund University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Department of Political Science
Box 52
Lund, SE 40530
Sweden

Bo Rothstein (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg ( email )

Box 711
Gothenburg, SE 40530
Sweden
+46317864599 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.pol.gu.se/Person.asp?PersonId=82

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