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Democratic governance

​ Definition

The culture of democratic governance moves beyond the procedures of democracy and

the establishment of democratic institutions (Democratic Governance | United Nations

Integrated Mission in Timor- Leste”, 2016). In accordance to the Organization for Europe and

Co-operation in Europe (2016), they defined this as a system of government where institutions

function according to democratic processes and norms, and towards the interaction with other

institutions. G. Shabbir Cheema (2016) added that this is a range through which a society

reaches consensus on and implements regulations, laws, policies and social structures in

pursuance of justice, welfare, and environmental protection. In this sense democratic

governance brings to the questions of how a society organizes itself to ensure equality and

equity for all citizens (1). Tunde Bakare (2013) perceived this as a governance by the people

and for the people. In other words, this governance is centered on the welfare of the people

(par.2). In the study entitled ​Role of Political Parties in Democratic Governance in Nigeria ​by

Adamu Monica (2007), democratic governance is defined as a form of government in which

supreme power of political community rest on popular sovereignty. Furthermore, this system is

grounded to the welfare of the people. The government seeks to realized particularly the

common good through collective initiation and discussion of policy questions concerning on

public affairs (par. 1).

Moreover, in the study entitled Democratic Governance- The Key to Development by

Belgian Technical Cooperation (2005), views democratic governance similar to good

governance. This is also one of the keys to development in which acknowledged the political

processes, regulations and institutions play a major role in economic growth and human

development (4). Good governance encompasses the full respect of human rights, the rule of
law, effective participation, multi-actor partnerships, political pluralism, transparent and

accountable processes and institutions, an efficient and effective public sector, legitimacy,

access to knowledge, information and education, political empowerment of people, equity,

sustainability, and attitudes and values which foster responsibility, solidarity and tolerance

("Good Governance And Human Rights | The Office Of The United Nations High Commissioner

For Human Rights" 2016, par. 2).

Democratic Governance is a system that seeks to secure and protect the rights of

individuals. In knowing the features and characteristics, there are certain measures and

indicators that will weighed the effectivity and efficiency of democratic governance.

Measures/ indicators

​Democratic governance is not easy to measure because this is measure through

different things to different with a packed of number of different variables and dimensions in

which the quality of democratic governance is politically, culturally and ideologically charged

determination. (​Measuring Democracy And Democratic Governance In A Post-2015

Development Framework 2012, 2). According to G. Chuluunbaatar and his colleagues (2006) in

their research that was conducted in Mongolia, the subject of democratic governance indicators

has become more complex because there are several concepts of assessment and comparison

that have been developed and research data based on this concepts are now an easy access to

the public (8). However, in the discussion paper entitled ​Measuring Democracy and Democratic

​ hich was conducted by United Nations

Governance in a post-2015 Development Framework w

Development Programme in August 2012, they argued that despite the complex side in

measuring democratic governance, there are still indicators that are observed. The democratic

governance indicators are focus on participatory, accountable, responsive, and inclusive

governance. Furthermore, there are possible four (4) approaches for the selection of targets and

indicators on democratic governance : 1.) Global targets with global indicators; 2.) Global

targets with national indicators; 3.) Regional targets with national indicators; 4.) National targets

with national indicators. In the first approach, this states the advantage of the global targets in

which provide a basis for understanding the deficits of democratic governance on an

international scale and provide a platform for building an international statistics system.The

most pragmatic approach for elaborating global targets and indicators is based on human rights

and democracy principles that have been set out in the UN declarations and conventions such

as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR); International Covenant on Civil and

Political Rights; Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women; Millennium

Declaration; UN World Summit Outcome Resolutions (2005); UN General Assembly Resolution

on “Strengthening the role of the United NAtions in enhancing periodic and genuine elections

and the promotion of democratization (2010). In the second approach, it define the indicators

based on their own national circumstances. In the third approach, the regional targets selected

by regional organizations like the African Union, ASEAN and etc. might make it easier for

countries to agree in contextualizing the democratic governance targets to the specific

challenges of their regions. The selection of such regional targets could eased by the fact that

regional charters or commitments on democratic governance already exist in every region. In

the fourth approach, It is better suited for drawing on locally specific data including public

surveys in which that need not be produced with cross-country comparison considerations.

While at the same time, this strengthens the capacities of the government agencies and civil

society in which might be formally assigned for collecting, maintaining and analyzing

governance data related. Furthermore ,a country specific process is better suited for engaging a

more diverse selection of national stakeholders in a way they come together to dialogue on
what to assess and how to go about measuring it (​Measuring Democracy And Democratic

Governance In A Post-2015 Development Framework​ 2012, 15-18).

Related Studies and Findings

Democratic governance has become acceptable system of government all over the world.

With the power the rest upon the popular sovereignty, the government seeks to provide

services and secure the rights of every citizens. However, this system in Nigeria has been

different compared to other parts of the world. In the study entitled ​Role of Political Parties in

Democratic Governance in Nigeria ​by Adamu Monica (2007), the human right and the rule of

law which are the main feature of democracy was not present during between 1999 and 2007

where election rigging and gangsterism was the order of the day that was hardly differentiate

between democracy and autocracy (par. 2-3).

Paradigms of Democratic Governance

​The work on the subject of democratic governance has lurch between two ideal types-- A

decentralist paradigm and a centralist paradigm. In the first paradigm, good government came

from institutions that are diffuse and decentralized wherein multiple veto points check the

accumulated power in any single source (Gerring and Thacker 2004, 3). The government works

best when political institutions diffuse power among multiple and independent bodies. This is the

model of good government in which embraced by most of lay citizens, political scientist, NGOs

and international organizations. This is the prevailing paradigm of governance at the start of

twenty-first century. This idea may be traced back to early attempt in constraining the abuse of

political authority (monarchs). One theory that brought out of this was the theory of mixed

constitution in which led to the theory of the separation of powers, the first critical theoretical
component of decentralism, wherein the powers was being diffuse in the national level.Another

is the concept of federalism, a second critical theoretical component of decentralism, diffused

power between levels of government (subnational level). (Gerring and Thacker 2008, 2-9)

On the other hand, the second paradigm states that good government arises whenever power

is effectively centralized in the hands of a single party which then established a system of

effective accountability at all levels of government. Furthermore, this is usually identified as the

British ‘Westminster’ system of government wherein there is a centralization of political power

and this usually understood in terms of unitary government, parliamentarism, a

first-past-the-post electoral system, strong parties, two-party dominance, a hierarchical

bureaucracy, with an unwritten constitution and restrained judiciary (Gerring and Thacker 2004,

3 &11 ). Aside from the two paradigm, there is another model that was being presented by

Gerring and Thacker (2008), in their book entitled A Centripetal Theory Of Democratic

Governance, t​ his model was called the Centripetal theory in which stated that government

arises from institutions that create power and enhancing the ability of political community

through its chosen representatives in deliberating, reaching, and implementing those decisions.

The paradigm builds on the fundamental premise that good government results when political

energies are focused towards the center. In reconciling this process, Institutions must be

inclusive, they must reach out the interest,ideas, and identities and they must be authoritative in

which provide an effective mechanism for reaching and implementing that agreements (Gerring

and Thacker, 2008, 9 & 15).


Today we we are able to witness the growing popularity of democracy as the “primary

vehicle for the fulfillment of individual aspirations, articulation of interests and the nurturing of

civil society.” (Cheema and Maguire 2002, 2-3) James March and Johan Olsen (1995) argued
that democratic governance developed its modern forms throughout the past two hundred or

three hundred years with few countries that had relatively small population, substantial wealth,

and relative geographic, social, and economic autonomy. Furthermore, democratic policies have

been developing through the process of wars, revolutions, and political compromises which

reflected the realities of political, social and economic power.(4)

Tracing back to the past, Robert Dahl (1999) asserts that a certain initial phase of

democracy most likely occurred in prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies where three criteria of

the group that were identified. In this stage, there was a little interference and assumption of

equality prevailed. As human beings began to settle in large groups, a certain degree of

hierarchy insinuate into their governance. Furthermore, Dahl explained that democracy did not

reemerge until about 500 BC, wherein Greeks and Romans established systems of government

based on popular participation. In the Greek system, the governance was more or less directly

democratic in a way there was a sense of having few intermediary structures between the

people. However, this excluded women and slaves and others who were not given the rights to

governance in the government. On the othe rhand, the Roman system employed a system of

representative government known as the “republic”. Like the Greeks, they also excluded

women, slaves and others. (Cheema and Maguire 2002, 3-4). Unlike the Roman Empire, the

Christian empire from the 4th century AD was not considerate on the opinions of the people.

Similarly, the Germanic tribes who colonized the western empire, put more emphasis on the

herro than its citizens. However, in the extreme north, particularly in the Scandinavia, there was

a kind of democracy more common among very small and primitive communities which took

place in a “thing” ("HISTORY OF DEMOCRACY" 2016, par. 7-8). However, democracy that was

similarly experienced by the Romans and Greeks, reemerged in the 12th century in the city

states of northern Italy (Cheema and Maguire 2002, 3).

The early practices of democracy may not only be traced back to the ancient Greeks

and Romans but also to the Phoenicians and the Egyptians. As Adel Safty wrote, “the

European thinkers of the Enlightenment were not the only, indeed not the first, source of the

values that came to be associated with democratic governance. Back before Rousseau and

Locke, Arab social philosopher Alfarabi talked of liberty and equality and of rule on the basis of

the consent of the governed (Cheema and Maguire 2002, 3).

The democracy we know today is similarly recognized in the evolving political institution

and revolution of eighteenth century Europe and North America where Representative national

and local institutions such as the British House of Commons, people- driven revolutions in

North America and France,pursued the ideas of equality, inalienable rights in terms of

representation. From these foundation come the institutions and processes that mostly similar to

the modern representative democracy such as the elections, political parties, separation of

powers and others. In that foundation, there were three main system emerged from Western

Europe during 18th century namely the presidential, parliamentary and mixed models of

government. In parliamentary model, this features a parliament in which sometimes it can be

either unicameral or bicameral. From that assembly, the Prime MInister will be chosen and

become the head of the government. One example of this is United Kingdom or Britain wherein

the Prime Minister is the head of the government while the Monarch is the head of state. In the

Presidential model, one of the most well known example is the United States which features a

strong, popularly elected president as the head of state and government and it may have a

unicameral or bicameral legislature that acts as his or her counterweight. In the mixed system,

one example of this is France, features a strong, popularly elected president who chooses a

premier in consultation and sometimes at the demand of unicameral or bicameral legislature.

(Cheema and Maguire 2002, 3-4).

Today, there were more democratic states than non- democratic states. According to

Borgen Magazine (2013), there are currently 123 democracies in the world of all 192 countries

(par.1). This was attributed to the idea of democracy that transpired during the 20th century

where there were significant advances in democratization that had taken place. This includes

the collapse of the Soviet Union which created many fledgling democracies in central Europe,

the fall of the military dictatorships in Latin America that paved way to democracy such as Peru,

Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile, the fall of the Berlin Wall which led to the

emergence of new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe and the ousting of the long

dictatorial regimes in Africa, Middle East and Asia including Philippines ("DEMOCRACY" | The

Economist,2016, 1-2).


Democratic governance is important to the lives of every individual. This promotes an

advancing sustainable human development and empowered the demand and shape better

policies, express grievances, seek justice and hold leaders and the private sector accountable

("Democracy And Good Governance | Campaign For People's Goals For Sustainable

Development" 2014, par. 1). According to United Nations Development Programme, which are

aim to build an effective democratic governance throughout the world, believed that this can

strengthen the electoral and legislative system in which improve the access of every citizens to

justice and public administration. Through this, this can further develop a greater capacity to

deliver basic services to those most in need (par. 1)



Back in the last decade in the twentieth century, the concept of governance has been

the central place in the contemporary debates in the social sciences. The concept was used

frequently but this was often associated with different meanings and implications (Pierre &

Peters, 2000, 1). Kaufmann , (2010) defined this in a broader sense, “The traditions and

institutions by which authority in a country is exercised” (2). For UNDP (2006), governance is

defined as the “ the exercise of economic, political, and administrative authority to manage a

country’s affairs at all levels,comprising the mechanisms, processes, and institutions through

which that authority is directed (7). For Bevir (2006), the concept of governance is widely used

to expressed in a new range practices of public administration. Generally, these practices are

associated with the shift from hierarchical bureaucracy to markets and networks ( ​426-36).

In the study entitled Democratic Governance- The Key to Development by Belgian

Technical Cooperation (2005)​, governance is an area that provides no rulebook or defined

method. Despite of that, it is involved a unique process in which both is the product of every

country's specific history and a range of balances which challenges power relationships

between players that are constantly changing (5) The diverse and widespread use indicates

that it hit the pulse of time but the increasingly use of this term had been resulted into the effect

that the contours of the concept are becoming fuzzy or confusing (Blatter 2012, 3).

Consequently, this resulted to the diverse types or kinds of governance.

Types or kinds of Governance

​Pravin Ganore (2011) presented six types of governance : Economic And Financial

Governance; e-Governance Services; Corporate Governance; Environmental Governance and

Natural Resources;Democratic governance. Economic And Financial Governance is an

essential prerequisite for promoting economic growth and reduced poverty. The main objective

of Economic And Financial Governance are : promoting macroeconomic policies which

contribute to sustainable development; implement economic policies are transparent;

predictable and credible; promote sound financial management; fight against corruption and

money laundering; accelerate regional integration that promotes the harmonization of monetary,

trade and investment between states.e-Governance and e-Governance Services is a holistic

concept which is defines and assesses the impact the information technology and

communication have on government practices and relations between government and society

as whole. This does not only supports improved access to information and political processes

but also an approach called participatory fundamentally change the relationship between

government and society. Furthermore, this indirectly influence relations between governments

and their citizens strengthening the participation and involvement of citizens in political choices

to ensure the observance of their rights and duties. Corporate governance relates to moral

principles, values and practices that facilitate the balance between economic and social goals

and between individual and common goals. This aims to coordinate the interests of individuals,

business and society as a governance structure emphasizing the common interest. Environment

governance refers to all processes, rules, practices and institutions which contribute to the

protection , management, preservation and conservation of biodiversity towards ecosystem and

mineral resources in their various modalities in perspective which reconciles sustainable

development and poverty reduction. Democratic governance, looking beyond issues of

institutions and forms of government. It covers the social coordination mechanisms involved in

political action which relies on two assumptions: first, governance is not a set of rules or an

activity but a process. This refers to the decision making process within all groups in the social,
political, and economic; Second, this facilitate participation in the definition of public policies,

their implementation by multiple players who have neither the same interests nor the same

modes of regulation. Furthermore, democratic conceived as the art of government by

articulating the business at different spatial scales from local to global.

Peace and Order


Various crimes has been happening in a society. Crimes such as kidnap, murder, rape,

drug dealings and others are considered to be disruption of peace and order. In order to ease

the occurrence of crimes, maintaining peace and order is important. This is where the role of

police and military come forward. These organizations are the hands of the government in

handling the maintenance of overall peace and order in the country(Estonio, 2014).

Moreover, ​Peace and order has been one of the objectives of government in order to

pursue a more progressive and developed economy in a country (​Peace And Order In The Era

Of Globalization And The Role Of The Civil Service Commission ​| Civil Service Commission,

2004, 1). Mel Lawrenz (2016) define peace as the tranquility of order where it is much more

than just the absence of conflict (par.5). Peace maintain public order and prevent violence and

other unlawful behavior ("What Is KEEPING THE PEACE?"| The Law Dictionary, 2016).

McCandless and Karbo (2011) asserts that peace and development go together in a way

peace involves resolution of conflict and transformation of extant social systems at the national

and international level (3). Furthermore, Manny Villar (2015) asserted that peace and order is

non economic problems that could affect the economy (par.1)


It has been argued that the absence of war among democratic states comes as close as

anything that have to an empirical law in international relations. One theory that can explained

this phenomena is the democratic peace theory which points out the idea that democratic or

liberal states never or very rarely go to war with each other and they are less likely to become

involved in militarized disputes among themselves and this is the most robust lawlike that
generated by the discipline of international relations. This was introduced during the 1970s

which has since gathered momentum and gained credence which withstand extensive criticism

and along with that it continued to developed, amended and refined in the process. Moreover,

looking in practical terms, the theory suggests that a world of liberal/democratic states will be

peaceful which was an idea long ago introduced by such figures as Thomas Paine, Immanuel

Kant, and Woodrow Wilson (Azar, 2005, 73)

Furthermore, democratic peace theory offers a strong empirical attack in the liberal idea

against the traditional intellectual hegemony of realism in American IR theory. Rooted from the

idea of Kant’s work entitled, ​Perpetual Peace in which he claims that peace is reasonable

outcome of the interaction of states with republican form of government. He believes that the

republican constitution would gave favorable prospect for the desired consequences. The

reasons for this is that if the consent of the citizens is required in order to decide whether war

should be declared. On the other hand, Kant argues that in a constitution which is not

republican and under the subjects which are not citizens, a declaration of war is the easiest

thing in the world to decide upon, because war does not require a rule, who is the proprietor and

not a member of state (Pugh 2005, 2-3)

However, there a great deal of criticism of democratic peace theory is focused on

methodology. It is argued that the subjectivity of the specifics definitions adopted in such highly

empirical studies is likely to significantly affect the results, making it hard to validate the theory

with certainty. But this is undermined by a large number of studies that showed democracies are

highly unlikely to fight each other irrespective of the definition of democracy, the type of cases

which are considered or the dispute or war threshold (Placek 2012).

Indicators and Measurements

In pursuance of measuring peace, United Nations member states recognized the critical

nature of peacefulness in advancing global development. The promotion of peace, justice and

strong institutions has been part in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in which

target poverty, inequality, injustice and climate change by 2030. Through Global Peace Index

(GPI), which was created by Institute for Economic and Peace (IEP), this measure the national

peacefulness. This gauges global peace using three broad themes or factors: the level of safety

and security in society, the extent of domestic and international conflict , and the degree of

militarization. The following factors are both internal such as the level of violence and crime

within the country and external such as the military expenditure and wars. Furthermore, GPI is

composed of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly recognized sources which

covers 99.7% of the world’s population ("Global Peace Index 2008-2016 | Health Intelligence"


Other Studies

Local level

In the study entitled ​Peace and Order Keeping Security: Barangay Level by Maria

Estonio (2014), the maintenance of peace and order in barangay level provides security to

every residences. In order to strengthen peacekeeping in communities, there was a committee

that was created in accordance to E.O no. 366 (1996). Despite that there was a delegation of

the responsibilities of the Barangay Captain, there were issues that hinder them to execute

order in the residences-1.) the lack of budget for additional power, equipment and materials of

peace and order committee; 2.) Asking for further support from other local government


Through maintaining international peace and security, UN makes all its work more

effective through solving global issue, instead of resolving the conflicts in order to keep the

peace in the world ("International Peace and Security | United Nations", 2016). Manny Villar

(2015) in his speech towards the new president, points out that without peace and order,

operations of businesses and industries are disrupted (par. 2).


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Pastor Tunde Bakare | Sahara Reporters". ​Sahara Reporters​.


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