Title of paper

Principal-Agency Problems of Governance in the Horn of Africa: Propensities for Malevolent Dictatorships and Hegemonic Traps

Start Date

15-8-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

15-8-2014 10:30 AM

Submission type

Presentation

Abstract

Although it may appear intuitively obvious, there is no positivist metric of what a good system of governance looks like because of its heuristic and qualitative attributes and the variable nature of its outcome from authentic and credible alignment of principal-agency practices of legitimate and credible leadership. It is much easier to characterize a governance system that does not measure up to expectations. The purpose of this paper is to examine the structural attributes of governance systems in the Horn of Africa and their outcomes over the last few decades and determine whether they have met basic expectations of good governance. The paper will discuss this problem in three parts. The first will present a taxonomy of governance systems spanning from the normative democratic welfare state to malevolent dictatorship as differentiated by a few key performance variables of legitimacy including principal-agency authenticity and alignment, national identity and citizenship formations, fundamental human and democratic rights, social and spatial mobility of citizens, accessibility to means of production and wealth-making, and the role of professional and intellectual competence in state functions. The second part of the paper will describe the current ruling parties in the Horn and discuss their performance on the key variables of legitimacy to govern with a purpose of placing them on the continuum of governance typologies. The third part of the paper will deal with a discussion of those governing parties in the Horn those manifest principal-agency crises of misalignment of interests and asymmetry of power between rulers and the ruled forcing the rulers into hegemonic traps to practice malevolent dictatorial power with little to no incentives for reform toward good governance.

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Aug 15th, 9:00 AM Aug 15th, 10:30 AM

Principal-Agency Problems of Governance in the Horn of Africa: Propensities for Malevolent Dictatorships and Hegemonic Traps

Although it may appear intuitively obvious, there is no positivist metric of what a good system of governance looks like because of its heuristic and qualitative attributes and the variable nature of its outcome from authentic and credible alignment of principal-agency practices of legitimate and credible leadership. It is much easier to characterize a governance system that does not measure up to expectations. The purpose of this paper is to examine the structural attributes of governance systems in the Horn of Africa and their outcomes over the last few decades and determine whether they have met basic expectations of good governance. The paper will discuss this problem in three parts. The first will present a taxonomy of governance systems spanning from the normative democratic welfare state to malevolent dictatorship as differentiated by a few key performance variables of legitimacy including principal-agency authenticity and alignment, national identity and citizenship formations, fundamental human and democratic rights, social and spatial mobility of citizens, accessibility to means of production and wealth-making, and the role of professional and intellectual competence in state functions. The second part of the paper will describe the current ruling parties in the Horn and discuss their performance on the key variables of legitimacy to govern with a purpose of placing them on the continuum of governance typologies. The third part of the paper will deal with a discussion of those governing parties in the Horn those manifest principal-agency crises of misalignment of interests and asymmetry of power between rulers and the ruled forcing the rulers into hegemonic traps to practice malevolent dictatorial power with little to no incentives for reform toward good governance.