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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Good Governance, Good Enough Governance and Governance with Rights First

  • Author(s): Zhang, Xiuling
  • Advisor(s): Keller, Edmond J
  • et al.

The thesis critically examines two important concepts in the discussion of public management, good governance, and good enough governance. It argues that current thinking about good governance is overly inclusive and lengthy. Good enough governance offers a more feasible governance strategy, but it is still results-based and neglects crucial elements in human development such as political and civil freedom. This thesis suggests an alternative concept for public management in developing countries—governance with rights-first. The alternative concept argues that the pursuit of effective and efficient management should be placed in a more humanistic frame that includes not just economic development, but also political, social, and civic development. Government policies should be based primarily on addressing the political, economic, social, and civil rights, and needs of the citizenry of the country. It also argues that there is no one-size-fits-all formula to improve governance. Policy interventions must be based on the specific context of the country.

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