Governance is about which political institutions a society have, the processes these are involved in, and their governing behavior. 

A country is deemed to be ‘democratic’ if the political leadership is chosen by means of free elections – but to qualify as a true democracy, there must also be a well-functioning legal system and respect for human rights.Contrary to democracies we have dictatorial or authoritarian countries. The less authority citizens in a society wield, the more authoritarian the country is deemed.

At NUPI, research on governance examine various forms of government to understand better the ways in which countries may be authoritarian or democratic, as well as the consequences of different types of governance for the economy and living conditions.

Questions in focus include:

  • Why do democratic states less often go to war with each other?
  • What can influence the economy to shift from an authoritarian to a democratic form of governance? 
  • Why is famine less common in democracies?