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Good Governance Facades

Listed author(s):
  • Kalle Moene
  • Tina Søreide

Fashions come and go in the development community. When a policy idea becomes popular, some governments implement a cosmetic variant of the policy. What looks like development, are institutional façades; pretty from the outside, ugly from the inside. A good governance façade can be introduced deliberately to mislead observers and stakeholders to cover political theft. An example from the past is development planning, introduced with good intentions but sometimes exploited as a cover for corruption. In the 1960s donors rewarded developing countries that introduced five years plans by offering more aid. Recipient governments were therefore tempted to come up with cosmetic plans to satisfy foreign donors rather than the needs of their citizens. This paper argues that rents can be extracted under the cover of executing good policies; that nominally beneficial policies permit corrupt decision-makers to hide in plain sight.

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Paper provided by CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway in its series CMI Working Papers with number 2.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2015-2
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  1. Mehling, Maxie-Lina & Boehm, Frédéric, 2014. "Corruption and Informality: Complements or Substitutes? Qualitative Evidence from Barranquilla, Colombia," MPRA Paper 54817, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Manzetti, Luigi, 1999. "Privatization South American Style," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198294665.
  3. Roberts, Alasdair, 2010. "The Logic of Discipline: Global Capitalism and the Architecture of Government," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195374988.
  4. Bigsten, Arne & Moene, Karl Ove, 1996. "Growth and Rent Dissipation: The Case of Kenya," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 5(2), pages 177-198, June.
  5. Daniel Benitez & Antonio Estache & Tina Søreide, 2012. "Infrastructure policy and governance failures," CMI Working Papers 5, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  6. Bjorvatn, Kjetil & Soreide, Tina, 2005. "Corruption and privatization," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 903-914, December.
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