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By M. A. Mohamed Salih Ph.D. (eds.)

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Extra resources for African Parliaments: Between Governance and Government

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Moreover, economic growth is usually the primary indicator of the performance of political systems. This chapter takes a different approach to the empirical research on institutions and development. The current analysis focuses on the relationship between political characteristics and the quality of governance. Governance quality—that is reflected in, among other things, the degree of openness and accountability of decision-makers, the effectiveness of government, and the absence of corruption—is arguably an important indicator of political performance, on a par with economic growth.

A final dimension concerning political institutions relates to their durability. Although one might hypothesize, pace Olson,19 that the longer DEMOCRACIES IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE 29 democracies exist, the more vested interests (so-called “distributional coalitions”) reduce their performance level, Przeworski et al. ”20 Research Design and Data Hypotheses This chapter takes the elements discussed in the previous section as the building blocks of the analysis of the relationships among political characteristics and governance.

See Wiese 2003 for Namibia and O’Brien 1997 for South Africa. See Patterson and Mughan 1999 on bi-cameralism in the contemporary world. Van Cranenburgh 2003. March and Olsen 1995: 6. Ostrom 1990. For more on this refer to Okoth-Ogendo 2000. Johnson and Nakamura 1999: 1. March and Olsen 1995. Johnson and Nakamura 1999: 2. 2 Parliaments, Politics, and Governance: African Democracies in Comparative Perspective Wil Hout1 Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands his chapter focuses on the relationship between features of national political systems, many of which relate to the functioning of national parliaments, and the quality of governance.

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