Center for Global Affairs

Gender, Politics and the State in Development

`Good governance¿ is central-stage as the essential condition for growth in low-income countries, and for human development as well. A number of the country assistance programs of bilateral and multilateral development agencies are predicated on a minimum set of successful governance reforms including anti-corruption measures and efforts to improve public administration efficiency. `Good governance¿ was missing from the Millennium Development Goals, and its inclusion in the post-2015 development framework is currently hotly contested, and being used as a bargaining chip by G77 countries in exchange for more relaxed conditions for aid. `Good governance¿ is the primary focus of efforts to improve the effectiveness of aid in particular in the 19 countries that self-define as fragile and conflict-prone. Definitions of `governance¿ range from a restricted view focusing on sound management of the economy, and a more expansive one that aims for political liberalization and addresses problems of social inequality. Governance has an important impact on the distribution of resources and public power between women and men. In addition, gendered power relations shape approaches to governance. This course develops an understanding of governance reforms in low-income contexts from a gender-sensitive and feminist political science perspective.
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