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Govern Like UsU.S. Expectations of Poor Countries$
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M. A. Thomas

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231171205

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231171205.001.0001

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Governance as It Is

Governance as It Is

Chapter:
(p.158) 7. Governance as It Is
Source:
Govern Like Us
Author(s):

M. A. Thomas

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231171205.003.0007

This chapter provides examples of the difficulties of well-intentioned Westerners (and some poor country elites) in grappling with the more limited possibilities of poor governments. Despite increasing awareness of how poor countries operate versus those of the rich, little consideration has been taken to account for the unrealistic expectations placed upon poor governments in policymaking. The issue is further compounded by the fact that insights on how poor governments operate tend to circulate only within a community of specialists; that even these specialists' efforts to put their findings to use hold little weight within the larger political sphere; and that there exists a moral conviction overall that the strategies employed by poor governments out of sheer necessity are considered inherently evil and must simply be cured of in some fashion. The latter is especially problematic, as these countries have no other choice.

Keywords:   unrealistic expectations, policymaking, poor governments, moral conviction, limited possibilities, poor governments

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