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Brazilian Political Science Review (Online)

On-line version ISSN 1981-3821


FREY, Klaus. Development, good governance, and local democracy. Braz. political sci. rev. (Online) [online]. 2008, vol.3Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 1981-3821.

This article analyses the concept of "good governance" as promoted by the international development community, above all by the World Bank, within the predominant neoliberal development approach, emphasising the implications for local governance and management in developing countries. Highlighting the extent to which it is embedded in the neoliberal development approach, the good governance concept is analysed with regard to its peculiar understanding of participation and democracy. The article discusses the subordination of the World Bank's consensus-oriented approach of good governance to economic imperatives, fading out the centrality of its political dimension. In the context of unequal societies, such an apolitical governance concept only contributes to the strengthening of existing power relations. In its conclusions, the article stresses the need to rethink the good governance approach to development and local politics according to Chantal Mouffe's agonistic view of democracy, which considers political protest, social mobilization and politicization as essential conditions for social transformation and democratic vitality.

Keywords : Good governance; Development; World Bank; Urban governance; Local democracy.

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