Skip to main content

The Political and Historical Origins of Good Government: How Social Contracts Shape Elite Behavior

  • Chapter

Part of the Executive Politics and Governance book series (EXPOLGOV)

Abstract

An influential scholarship holds that the behavior of political elites – that is, elected and non-elected public officials – is of key importance for achieving quality of government (Klitgaard, 1988; Goldsmith, 2001; Acemoglu and Robinson, 2006, 2012; North, Wallis, and Weingast, 2009; Fukuyama, 2011). The influence of political elites is assumed to travel through direct as well as indirect channels. The powerful position of elites gives them a direct influence on political, social, and economic development. At the same time, the behavior of political elites is likely to indirectly influence the behavior of ordinary citizens through what Werner (1983, p. 149) calls a “leader-follower spillover effect.” That is, the morals and actions of political elites are likely to be copied, complemented, and reinforced by actors further down the hierarchy. In line with this logic, it is often argued that “the fish rots from the head down,” whereas responsive and responsible leadership plays an important role in setting in motion a virtuous development spiral (Rothstein, 2011).

Keywords

  • Social Contract
  • Political Elite
  • Veto Player
  • Legal Origin
  • Corruption Perception Index

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1057/9781137556288_5
  • Chapter length: 24 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   89.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-1-137-55628-8
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  • Acemoglu, D. and J. Robinson. 2006. Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Acemoglu, D. and J. Robinson. 2012. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty. New York: Crown Business.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ades, A. and R. Di Tella. 1999. “Rents, Competition, and Corruption.” American Economic Review 89(4): 982–993.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Adserà, A., C. Boix and M. Payne. 2003. “Are You Being Served? Political Accountability and Quality of Government.” Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization 19(2): 445–490.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Andrews, J. T. and G. R. Montinola. 2004. “Veto Players and the Rule of Law in Emerging Democracies.” Comparative Political Studies 37(1): 55–87.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Andrews, M. 2008. “The Good Governance Agenda: Beyond Indicators without Theory.” Oxford Development Studies 36(4): 379–407.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Bäck, H. and A. Hadenius. 2008. “Democracy and State Capacity: Exploring a J-Shaped Relationship.” Governance 21(1): 1–24.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Banfeld, E. C. 1975. “Corruption as a Feature of Governmental Organization.” Journal of Law and Economics 18(3): 587–605.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Becker, G. S. 1974. “Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach.” Pp. 1–54 in Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, edited by G. S. Becker and W. M. Landes. New York: University of Columbia Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Becker, G. S. and G. J. Stigler. 1974. “Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers.” Journal of Legal Studies 3(1): 1–18.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Besley, T. 2006. Principled Agents: The Political Economy of Good Government. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dahlström, C. and V. Lapuente. 2010. “Explaining Cross-Country Differences in Performance-Related Pay in the Public Sector.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 20(3): 577–600.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Dahlström, C., V. Lapuente and J. Teorell. 2012. “The Merit of Meritocratization: Politics, Bureaucracy, and the Institutional Deterrents of Corruption.” Political Research Quarterly 65(3): 656–668.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Diamond, L. J. 1990. “Three Paradoxes of Democracy.” Journal of Democracy 1:48–60.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Diamond, L. J. 1997. Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies: Themes and Perspectives. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dollar, D., R. Fisman and R. Gatti. 2001. “Are Women Really the ‘Fairer’ Sex? Corruption and Women in Government.” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 46(4): 423–429.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Doornbos, M. 2001. “‘Good Governance’: The Rise and Decline of a Policy Metaphor?” Journal of Development Studies 37(6): 93–108.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Easterly, W. and R. Levine. 1997. “Africa’s Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 112(4): 1203–1250.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Englebert, P. 2000. “Solving the Mystery of the AFRICA Dummy.” World Development 28(10): 1821–1835.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Englebert, P. 2002. State Legitimacy and Development in Africa. Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  • Evans, P. B. 1995. Embedded Autonomy: States and Industrial Transformation. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fukuyama, F. 2011. The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gerring, J. and S. C. Thacker. 2004. “Political Institutions and Corruption: The Role of Unitarism and Parliamentarism.” British Journal of Political Science 34(2): 295–330.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Global Integrity. 2008. “Global Integrity Report.” Washington, DC: Global Integrity.

    Google Scholar 

  • Goldsmith, A. A. 2001. “Risk, Rule and Reason: Leadership in Africa.” Public Administration and Development 21(2): 77–87.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Holmberg, S., B. Rothstein and N. Nasiritousi. 2009. “Quality of Government: What You Get.” Annual Review of Political Science 12: 135–161.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Holsti, K. J. 1996. The State, War, and the State of War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Horowitz, D. L. 1985. Ethnic Groups in Conflict. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Keefer, P. 1997. “Clientelism, Credibility, and the Policy Choices of Young Democracies.” American Journal of Political Science 51(4): 804–821.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Klitgaard, R. 1988. Controlling Corruption. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kohli, A. 2004. State-Directed Development: Political Power and Industrialization in the Global Periphery. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kpundeh, S. J. 1998. “Political Will in Fighting Corruption.” Pp. 91–110 in Corruption and Integrity Improvement Initiatives in Developing Countries, edited by S. J. Kpundeh and I. Hors. Paris: UNDP/OECD.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kpundeh, S. J. 2004. Building State Capacity in Africa. Washington. DC: World Bank Publications.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kunicova, J. and S. Rose-Ackerman. 2005. “Electoral Rules and Constitutional Structure as Constraints on Corruption.” British Journal of Political Science 35(4): 573–606.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • La Porta, R., F. Lopez-de-Silanes, A. Shleifer and R. Vishny. 1999. “The Quality of Government.” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 15(1): 222–279.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • La Porta, R., F. Lopez-de-Silanes, A. Shleifer and R. Vishny. 2008. “The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins.” Journal of Economic Literature 46(2): 285–332.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Lawson, L. 2009. “The Politics of Anti-Corruption Reform in Africa.” Journal of Modern African Studies 47(1): 73–100

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Lemay-Hébert, N. 2009. “State-Building without Nation-Building? Legitimacy, State Failure and the Limits of the Institutionalist Approach.” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 3(1): 21–45.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Levi, M. 1988. Of Rule and Revenue. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lipset, S. M. 1960. Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics. Garden City: Anchor Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • McGowan, P. 2003. “African Military Coups D’état, 1956–2001: Frequency, Trends and Distribution.” Journal of Modern African Studies 41(3): 339–370.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mesquita, B., A. Smith, R. M. Siverson and J. D. Morrow. 2003. The Logic of Political Survival. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Migdal, J. 1988. Strong Societies and Weak States. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Migdal, J. 2001. State in Society. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Miller, G. 2000. “Above Politics: Credible Commitment and Efficiency in the Design of Public Agencies.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 10(2): 289–328.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mo Ibrahim Foundation. 2014. Ibrahim Index of African Governance. London, UK: Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

    Google Scholar 

  • Montinola, G. R. and R. W. Jackman. 2002. “Sources of Corruption: A CrossCountry Study.” British Journal of Political Science 32(1): 147–170.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mookherjee, D. and I. P. L. Png. 1995. “Corruptible Law Enforcers: How Should they Be Compensated?” The Economic Journal 105: 145–159.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Myerson, R. B. 1993. “Effectiveness of Electoral Systems for Reducing Government Corruption—A Game-Theoretic Analysis.” Games and Economic Behavior 5(1): 118–132.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • North, D. C., J. J. Wallis and B. Weingast. 2009. Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Persson, A. and M. Sjöstedt. 2012. “Responsive and Responsible Leaders: A Matter of Political Will.” Perspectives on Politics 10(3): 617–632.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Persson, A., B. Rothstein and J. Teorell. 2013. “Why Anticorruption Reforms Fail—Systemic Corruption as a Collective Action Problem.” Governance 26(3): 449–471.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Persson, T. and G. Tabellini. 2003. The Economic Effects of Constitutions. Munich Lectures in Economics. London: The MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Persson, T., G. Roland, and G. Tabellini. 2000. “Comparative Politics and Public Finance.” Journal of Political Economy 108(6): 1121–1161.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Persson, T., G. Tabellini, and F. Trebbi. 2003. “Electoral Rules and Corruption.” Journal of the European Economic Association 1(4): 958–989.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Pritchett, L. and M. Woolcock. 2004. “Solutions When the Solution Is the Problem: Arraying the Disarray in Development.” World Development 32(2): 191–212.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Rauch, J. and P. Evans. 2000. “Bureaucratic Structure and Bureaucratic Performance in Less Developed Countries.” Journal of Public Economics 75(1): 49–71.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Roeder, P. G. 2001. “Ethnolinguistic fractionalization (ELF) indices, 1961” at http//:weber.ucs-d.edu\~proeder\elf.htm, accessed on 5 December 2014.

  • Rose-Ackerman, S. 1978. Corruption: A Study in Political Economy. New York: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rothstein, B. 2011. The Quality of Government: Corruption, Social Trust and Inequality in International Perspective. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Shleifer, A. and R. W. Vishny. 1998. The Grabbing Hand: Government Pathologies and Their Cures. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sung, H. E. 2004. “Democracy and Political Corruption: A Cross-National Comparison.” Crime, Law, and Social Change 41(2): 179–193.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Tanzi, V. 2000. Policies, Institutions and the Dark Side of Economics. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

    Google Scholar 

  • Transparency International. 2000. TI Sourcebook. Confronting Corruption: The Elements of a National Integrity System. Berlin: Transparency International.

    Google Scholar 

  • Transparency International. 2014. Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). Berlin: Transparency International.

    Google Scholar 

  • Treisman, D. 2000. “The Causes of Corruption: A Cross-National Study.” Journal of Public Economics 76(3): 399–457.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Tsebelis, G. 1995. “Decision Making in Political Systems: Veto Players in Presidentialism, Parliamentarism, Multicameralism and Multipartyism.” British Journal of Political Science 25(3): 289–325.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • UCDP/PRIO. 2009. Armed Conflict Dataset v4–2009. Uppsala University: Department of Peace and Conflict Research & Oslo: Centre for the Study of Civil War at the International Peace Research Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • United Nations (UN). 2004. Anti-Corruption Toolkit. New York: UN. United Nations Development Program (UNDP). 2004. Anti-Corruption Practice Note. New York: UNDP.

    Google Scholar 

  • van de Walle, N. 2003. African Economies and the Politics of Permanent Crisis1979– 1999. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Van Rijckeghem, C. and B. Weder. 2001. “Bureaucratic Corruption and the Rate of Temptation: Do Wages in the Civil Service Affect Corruption, and by How Much?” Journal of Development Economics 65(2): 307–331.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Wängnerud, L. 2009. “Women in Parliaments. Descriptive and Substantive Representation.” Annual Review of Political Science 12: 51–69.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Werner, S. B. 1983. “New Directions in the Study of Administrative Corruption.” Public Administration Review 43(2): 146–154.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • World Bank. 2000. Anti-Corruption in Transition. A Contribution to the Policy Debate. Washington, DC: World Bank.

    Google Scholar 

  • World Bank. 2014. African Development Indicators. Washington, DC: World Bank.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wrong, M. 2009. It’s Our Turn to Eat: A Story of a Kenyan Whistle Blower. London: Fourth Estate.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Copyright information

© 2015 Anna Persson and Martin Sjöstedt

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Persson, A., Sjöstedt, M. (2015). The Political and Historical Origins of Good Government: How Social Contracts Shape Elite Behavior. In: Dahlström, C., Wängnerud, L. (eds) Elites, Institutions and the Quality of Government. Executive Politics and Governance. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137556288_5

Download citation