Fundamentals Seminar 19:  Promoting Good Governance

This seminar relates to Conflict Frontiers Massively Parallel Peacebuilding (MPP) Challenge 9.

"Governance" is not just the workings of "government," it is the way societies and organizations make collective decisions.  So it involves corporate decision making, and civil society actions, as well as governmental decisions and actions at all levels.  Increasingly, it seems to be fraught with conflict!

Posts in this Seminar:

  • Leaders and Leadership -- An examination of the different meanings of the word "leader," what makes leaders good or bad, and the dynamics between a group and their leader. 
  • Legitimate and Illegitimate Power --It is important to take legitimacy into consideration in the formation of any conflict resolution process. Otherwise, any agreement reached, no matter how visionary, is unlikely to hold. Leaders, too, must have legitimacy; otherwise their power is tenuous.
  • Democratization -- Winston Churchill once said, "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others." This essay examines the process of democratization in all its forms.
  • Democracy and Conflict Management -- In many ways, democracy is a system of conflict management in which the outcomes are unknown but the fundamental rules of the game provide a safe arena in which to compete.
  • Elections -- Elections are a cornerstone of democracy and, hence, figure prominently in democratization efforts around the world. This essay explores different electoral systems, elections in post-conflict situations, and the role of the international community in election monitoring.
  • Election Monitoring -- Elections are a key component of democratization. Timing and credibility are critical however. This essay examines both and explores the use of election monitors as an approach to ensuring the integrity of the elections.
  • Civil Society -- Civil society refers to the public's active engagement in government and public affairs. A society with a thriving civil society can deal with conflict in a creative, non-violent manner. A society with a weak civil society tends to stifle conflict until it explodes into violent revolution.
  • Civic Education -- Civic education programs aim to develop citizens' knowledge of the political system and create an engaged, politically informed populace.
  • Public Participation -- Public participation is a key aspect of democratic systems. This essay explains what it is, the ways it is implemented, and how it affects public decision making processes at all levels.
  • Human Rights Protection -- There is growing consensus that the protection of human rights is important for the resolution of conflict. This essay discusses various ways the international community is attempting to bring an end to human rights abuses.