Strategies for government reform

  • Charles F. Bingman


Governance is the ultimate mechanism for directing the affairs of a nation, and it is, of necessity, the exercise of power because it is the primary official and approved instrument for the making national decisions. This remains true even where there is a strong and independent private sector which controls most of the economic life of the country, because even then, the government has enormous influence over the environment in which the private sector functions. If a government is dictatorial and authoritarian, chances are that decision-making is in the hands of a single individual or a small group of elite power holders. If a government is more democratic and representative, the power of the government must be focused by building a reasonable public consensus for major decisions. In either case, second and third level decisions are linked to the functioning of elaborate structures of government agencies with power designated by laws enacted by legislative bodies that own and operate mechanisms for negotiation, compromise, or decision by fiat.