The quality of governance

Global Governance copy

“Effective governments create opportunities for citizens to thrive, building the
foundation of national development and prosperity

This is one of the statements underpinning the Chandler Good Government Index. The index is based on an evaluation of governance quality across countries. Below is a list of the top 30 countries in the 2023 index:

4Denmark19South Korea
9United Kingdom24Czech Republic
10New Zealand25Portugal
14United States29Lithuania

It is notable that most of the top 10 performers are smaller countries with a high degree of social cohesion – though the latter may be fraying in some countries like Sweden. Of larger countries, only Germany and the UK make it to the top 10.

One may reasonably ask what such an index is based on.

The chart below breaks down the total scores into their component parts. It compares the performance of high scoring Switzerland and Finland with Germany, the UK and France. While it is no surprise that the larger countries have greater global influence than smaller ones, the smaller leaders perform better on almost every other parameter.

The UK performs well on the strength of its institutions while, together with France, being let down mainly by relatively poor financial stewardship.

A possible incoming Labour government will have its hands full trying to reverse that weakness while improving public services, increasing defence spending, and the rest – especially if it comes under increasing tax and spend pressure from the Left of the party.

All that said, the UK somewhat improved its overall performance over the last two years, overtaking New Zealand and Canada to reach the top 10 and creating some distance ahead of Ireland. An improvement mainly based on a higher score in the strength of its institutions and global influence offsetting further drops in financial stewardship over the same period.

All other countries making up the top 10 remain unchanged since 2021, albeit in a slightly different

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Radix is the radical centre think tank. We welcome all contributions which promote system change, challenge established notions and re-imagine our societies. The views expressed here are those of the individual contributor and not necessarily shared by Radix.

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