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date: 06 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

In trying to conceptualize quality of government (QoG) one enters into the same difficulties as with other central concepts in the social sciences such as power, democracy, corruption, violence, etc. It is argued that conceptual precision is necessary for creating valid and reliable measures without which empirical research and policy solutions will not be possible. The strategy used in this conceptual operation has been to try to define what could be the opposite of corruption. It is argued that quality of government should be defined as separate from quality of democracy and also government effectiveness since we want to explain the latter by the former. A number of choices for defining QoG are presented (normative vs. empirical, substantive vs. procedural, universal vs. relativistic, multi- vs. unidimensional) are presented. The suggested definition is based on the idea of impartiality in the exercise of public power. Lastly, a number of challenges to this definition are presented.

Keywords: impartiality, universalism, public goods, rule of law, governance

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