A ‘Good Governance’ Paradox? Reexamining Reform of Economic Institutions in Post-Conflict Contexts

27 Pages Posted: 3 May 2018

See all articles by Tobias Akhtar Haque

Tobias Akhtar Haque

Australian National University (ANU) - Department of Pacific Affairs

Date Written: April 16, 2018

Abstract

When pursuing economic reforms in post-conflict and fragile states, development practitioners typically seek to establish an institutional framework within which markets can effectively function, price signals are accurate, and rents are eliminated. Establishment of market-enabling ‘good governance’ institutions is expected to lead to improvements in resource allocation, supporting improved living standards, employment creation, and access to services, thereby mitigating conflict pressures. Recent political economy theory, however, directly challenges the current ‘good governance’ orthodoxy, suggesting that the rents that reformers seek to eliminate through ‘good governance’ reforms serve a vital social purpose in maintaining elite pacts and thereby preventing violence. Through a survey of recent theoretical and empirical literature, I identify core unresolved contradictions and incompatibilities between the ‘good governance’ agenda and recent institutionalist theories of political order. Given limited empirical evidence that orthodox approaches are delivering expected results, I conclude that those working on economic reform in post-conflict and fragile states may need to revisit core assumptions that efforts to embed ‘good governance’ institutions will lead consistently to security and development.

Keywords: Post-Conflict States, Good Governance, Economic Reform

JEL Classification: F63, O19

Suggested Citation

Haque, Tobias Akhtar, A ‘Good Governance’ Paradox? Reexamining Reform of Economic Institutions in Post-Conflict Contexts (April 16, 2018). Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper No. 68. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3163933 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3163933

Tobias Akhtar Haque (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Department of Pacific Affairs ( email )

ACTON, ACT
Australia

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