Governance, Instability & Revolution
Pressure for democratic rule in the underdeveloped countries (from international organizations and the West) instead of dictatorship or military rule, has succeeded to a large extent. Elected leadership in many of these countries stay in power not because of requisite economic and institutional supports, but primarily because of inducements or sanctions from abroad.
However, accountable and effective government with “good governance” cannot be mandated from the outside in the same way. That can only happen at home on the back of sustained economic growth that is accompanied by effective institutional supports. All of it maintained and led by an increasing number of graduates who can consistently implement technical knowledge for maximum productivity, in the way that expatriates do. These supports do not exist in the PUCs (persistently underdeveloped countries), or exist only in weak form. (chapter 7)
Accountable and effective government cannot be wished into existence by the local population, either. For any country, the quality of government cannot exceed for long the capabilities of the economic and institutional base of society. This is the hard lesson that was learned by some countries that changed their governments via the revolution of “uprisings,” only to be replaced with the same or worse. The authoritarian governments that were overthrown existed for so long because of the stagnation of persistent underdevelopment, because university graduates could not perform like expatriates. Replacing government through revolution did not change that. Lofty ideas about liberty and freedom require a commensurate economic and institutional base to be sustainable. Without the necessary supports, the best that revolution could accomplish was to recreate, with new people, the overthrown leadership structure. (chapter 7)
Samuel A. Odunsi, Sr.