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Governing Complex SystemsSocial Capital for the Anthropocene$
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Oran R. Young

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035934

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035934.001.0001

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The Contributions of Good Governance

The Contributions of Good Governance

(p.181) 7 The Contributions of Good Governance
Governing Complex Systems

Oran R. Young

The MIT Press

While the idea of good governance has becomes popular in writings on international governance, there is a good deal of confusion about the meaning of this phrase. In some cases, effectiveness is treated as part of the definition of good governance. This makes it impossible to direct attention to the links between good governance and the effectiveness of governance systems in solving problems. A more interesting approach is to think of good governance in process terms and then to focus on the links between good governance and effectiveness in problem solving. Among the most interesting processes in this regard are participation, transparency, and accountability (the PTA variables). The key point regarding participation, for example, is that actors who feel they have had an opportunity to participate actively in decisionmaking are more likely to accept the results and abide by them than those who feel frustrated regarding participation. The challenge here is to apply this type of reasoning to largescale settings in which the actors are states or major interest groups. The widespread use of consensus rules at the international level means that states can expect to participate actively in the negotiation of agreements they are expected to implement within their own jurisdictions. But this gives rise to what are known as two-level games, since individuals, corporations, and interest groups within states may be reluctant to comply with or conform to the terms of agreements negotiated by their governments in the absence opportunities to voice their opinions in advance.

Keywords:   accountability, consensus rules, outcomes, participation, processes, problem solving, regime formation, regime implementation, transparency, two-level games

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