Sustainable Governance Indicators 2011 -  - ebook

Sustainable Governance Indicators 2011 ebook

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The Sustainable Governance Indicators (SGI) 2011 make up the second and latest edition of this major study, and they build upon the work of the successful and widely acknowledged first edition, from 2009. The study examines 31 OECD countries and their performance during the period between May 2008 and April 2010, which witnessed the height of the global financial turmoil and economic crisis. In addition to the 2011 findings, this volume also includes essays on the project's conceptual framework and methodology as well as summaries and strategic forecasts for each of the countries.

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Bibliographic information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de.
© 2011 E-Book-Ausgabe (EPUB)
© 2011 Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung, Gütersloh
Managing editors: Dr. Stefan Empter, Dr. Daniel Schraad-TischlerTranslation: Barbara Serfozo, BerlinProduction editor: Christiane RaffelCover design: Nadine HumannCover illustration: Andreas Recek, ardesign, BielefeldTypesetting and Printing: Hans Kock Buch- und Offsetdruck GmbH, Bielefeld
ISBN : 978-3-86793-394-0
www.bertelsmann-stiftung.org/publications

www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/verlag

Table of Contents
Title Page
Copyright Page
Preface
Theoretical Framework and Methodology
Sustainable Policy Outcomes, High Democratic Standards, and Sound Political ...
Measuring sustainable governance
Our approach
References
The Status Index: Sustainable Governance and Policy Performance
Introduction
The concept of sustainability in the SGI
Operationalizing sustainable governance
The SGI Status Index
Quality of Democracy
Policy Performance
Conclusion and outlook
References
Democratic Governance: The Strategic Capacity of the Core Executive and Social Groups
Introduction
Conceptual foundations
Governing and concepts of management
Executive Capacity
Executive Accountability
Conclusion
References
Sustainable Governance Indicators 2011: Concepts and Methodology
Concepts, questions, and indicators
The Status Index
The Management Index
Veto players
Economic and social distress
Attitudes among the population
Path dependencies
Measurement
Weighting and aggregation
Acknowledgement
References
Appendix
Empirical Findings
Status Index Findings for the SGI 2011: A Comparison of Policy Performance
Introduction
The Status Index: The contours of reform in 31 OECD countries
The top group: robust democracies and impressive performance
Upper midrange: Above-average performance with minor shortcomings
Lower midrange: Mixed performance with considerable shortcomings
Major deficiencies in the Quality of Democracy and Policy Performance
Conclusion: How sustainable are the reform activities of the 31 SGI countries?
References
Management Index Findings for the SGI 2011: A Comparison of Performance in ...
Introduction
Comprehensive overview of aggregated results
Governance performance within the policy cycle
Accountability and oversight
Comparison to the SGI 2009
Conclusion
References
Summaries and Outlooks for 31 OECD Countries
Australia
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Austria
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Belgium
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Short-term concerns
Medium- and long-term concerns
Reference
Canada
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
References
Chile
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Czech Republic
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Denmark
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Finland
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
France
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Germany
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Greece
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
References
Hungary
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Iceland
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
References
Ireland
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Italy
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Japan
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Luxembourg
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
References
Mexico
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
The Netherlands
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Reference
New Zealand
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Norway
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Poland
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Portugal
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Slovakia
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
South Korea
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Spain
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Sweden
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Switzerland
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Turkey
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
United Kingdom
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
United States
Executive summary
Strategic outlook
Appendix - Comprehensive List of Indicators
The Authors
The SGI Board
Regional Coordinators
List of Experts
Preface
The OECD world has been hard hit by the global economic and financial crisis. In 2009, many countries experienced their worst recession since the end of World War II, and many continue to struggle today with the severe aftereffects of crisis. The Sustainable Governance Indicators 2011 (SGI 2011) survey period stretches from the beginning of May 2008 to the end of April 2010, thus covering precisely the time in which governments were particularly challenged to react to the crisis quickly and resolutely. Yet the acute, short-term pressure of looming problems, as the crisis produced and continues to produce, must not lead to neglect of the fundamental need for sustainability. Indeed, policymakers must retain a focus on the long-term viability of sociopolitical, economic, and environmental systems in order to maximize the opportunities and quality of life afforded both to current and future generations.
Decisions on investment, consumption, conservation, and the exploitation of resources are not made by abstract “generations” but, rather, by quite specific individual and collective actors. In the sustainable creation and protection of citizens’ opportunities, government action plays an undeniably prominent role through concrete policies and steering activities in areas such as finance, education, health, family policy, pensions, the environment, and research and development.
It is with an eye to the issue of sustainable governance that the SGI 2011 allow the strengths and weaknesses of OECD states’ political and economic systems to be identified with considerable precision. This is true of countries’ crisis-related vulnerabilities and short-term crisis-management capabilities as well as of the capability to successfully meet critical future challenges. These include not only ongoing economic globalization, but also demographic change in the form of aging societies, migration trends, new security risks, and the increasing scarcity of resources. As broad drivers of policy-making, these various challenges can be broken down into specific issues and a variety of separate policy areas, in each of which weaknesses rather than optimum performances are often clearly evident. From this analysis of strengths and weaknesses emerges a clear picture of each county’s reform needs.
OECD states’ reform needs are represented as a part of the SGI 2011’s Status Index, which provides answers to two essential questions: First, how successfully do individual countries realize sustainable policy outcomes in the context of a socially responsible market economy? And, second, what is the quality of the country’s rule of law and democratic framework? For it is only in the context of a solid democratic order, which ensures truly equal opportunities for participation and a rigorous adherence to the rule of law, that sustainable policy outcomes can ultimately be achieved.
Alongside the question of reform needs is that of whether political systems have the fundamental capacity to implement critical reforms and political measures effectively. Answering this question is not a trivial task, as the formulation, passage, and implementation of reforms in modern democracies involve the participation of numerous actors. The SGI 2011 measure the reform capacity of the various OECD states through its Management Index, which seeks to do justice to the issue’s complexity through a broad set of individual indicators. The Management Index closely examines governments’ political steering capabilities as well as their interactions with other institutional and societal actors—particularly citizens, legislatures, interest groups, and the media—through each phase of the policy cycle. In taking this broad perspective, the SGI project goes far beyond other comparable indices.
The overall approach of the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Sustainable Governance Indicators is driven by the premise that the higher a government’s reform and policy-shaping capacity, the more likely its actions are to improve the country’s political, economic, and social state in the medium to long term with respect to the above-noted key issues, thus effectively addressing the country’s reform needs. This hypothesis should not be taken to imply that a reform-capable government always carries out the “right” reforms (whatever those may be) and thus achieves the best possible results. It simply suggests that reform needs should decline in countries whose governments demonstrate a strong capacity for reform, and vice versa. Only time will tell whether this holds true throughout the OECD member states.
The development of the SGI 2011 took place in part through a thorough internal and external evaluation of its 2009 pilot-edition predecessor. This led to various adjustments being made both in the survey process and in the index design itself, placing methodological limits on the ability to make direct comparisons between the SGI 2011 and the SGI 2009 results. However, in the course of the SGI 2011 survey, a process of interpolation was carried out for the adjusted indicator sets that was aimed at developing correspondingly adjusted values for the SGI 2009 survey period (January 2005 through March 2007). This has made possible a comparison between the recalculated SGI 2009 results and those of the newly released SGI 2011 (particularly through the project’s website, found at www.sgi-network.org).
The 2011 edition of the SGI was also the first of the project’s editions to incorporate new OECD member Chile, which—as the results show—had no need to fear comparison with many longtime OECD states. The Sustainable Governance Indicators 2013 will also evaluate Slovenia, Israel, and Estonia, which have joined the OECD in the interim, but could not be considered in this round.
More than 80 renowned experts from around the world participated in the SGI 2011’s complex and multi-stage process of data collection and data review. As in the SGI 2009 pilot edition, the focus of interest lies not solely on quantitative data, but also on country experts’ detailed qualitative evaluations. The full conclusions of the SGI 2011 are thus not to be found in a single number or ranking but, rather, in the systematic comparative treatment of a variety of qualitative assessments, their transparent portrayal, and their comparison with other countries’ results. In order to provide this layer of added value on top of simply quantitative data, our SGI country experts have compiled extensive reports on each of the 31 surveyed OECD countries, working on the basis of a detailed, standardized codebook.
This publication is meant to serve as an introduction to the project as whole. The contributions presented here draw upon the vast body of data and knowledge collected and made available at www.sgi-network.org. The website not only provides users full access to all the data, assessments, and results; it also allows users to draw comparisons between countries at each level of assessment. The SGI’s combined total of nearly 150 qualitative and quantitative indicators outline the sustainable policy performance in each OECD country surveyed.
This volume begins by explaining the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of the SGI as a rather complex measuring tool. In their contribution “Sustainable Policy Outcomes, High Democratic Standards, and Sound Political Steering as Benchmarks for Measuring Sustainable Governance in the OECD,” Daniel Schraad-Tischler and Najim Azahaf provide a short introduction to the approach used by the SGI team in measuring sustainable governance. Focusing in particular on the two pillars of the SGI, the Status Index and the Management Index, they establish the context for the two following contributions, in which the conceptual and theoretical roots of both indices and their components are explored. In “The Status Index: Sustainable Governance and Policy Performance,” Friedbert W. Rüb and Tom Ulbricht discuss the theoretical framework of the Status Index, its constituent parts, and how they relate. They examine from a theoretical perspective the conditions for sustainable governance in terms of the quality of democratic standards and how well policies perform in 15 areas, using these premises to delineate the composition of the Status Index.
In a similar manner, Werner Jann and Markus Seyfried provide a theoretical overview of the Management Index and its architecture. They explore in particular the theoretical underpinnings of governance as a concept and how it is understood—in terms of political steering—within the SGI context. The architecture of the Management Index reflects the SGI’s dynamic understanding of governance by examining both a government’s capacity to act (“Executive Capacity”) and the extent to which non-governmental actors and institutions are endowed with the participatory competence to hold the government accountable to its actions (“Executive Accountability”). This includes citizens, legislatures, parties, associations, and the media, that is, actors that monitor the government’s activities and whose effective inclusion in the political process improve the quality of governance. Ending the theoretical-methodological section is the contribution “Sustainable Governance Indicators 2011: Concepts and Methodology,” by Martin Brusis and Jörg Siegmund, in which the weighting and aggregation methods used to calculate SGI results are described, as is the SGI’s multi-stage process of data collection, review, and validation. This multi-stage process involves individual country experts, regional coordinators, and a board of scholars and experts, each monitoring the results provided by the other in order to deliver the highest possible measure of objectivity, reliability, and validity.
The second section of this volume is concerned with the empirical results of the SGI 2011: How well do the 31 OECD states surveyed fare in terms of their reform needs and reform capacity? What are their respective strengths and weaknesses? In their contribution, Kathrin Dümig and Reimut Zohlnhöfer focus on the overall results for the Status Index. In the following contribution, Markus Seyfried examines the cross-national results for the Management Index. His analysis shows that the northern European states of Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark, together with New Zealand, perform best in both the Status Index and the Management Index. These countries underscore the fact that, even in globalized world fraught with interdependencies, governments continue to exercise considerable agency in formulating and implementing effective, sustainable policies. The institutional layout of government bureaucracies is in no way the only factor decisive in shaping a government’s steering capacity. For this reason, the Sustainable Governance Indicators emphasize the importance of participation in policy-making processes by exploring the extent to which governments effectively incorporate the knowledge and feedback of societal actors through sound democratic institutions.
The two contributions discussing the results for the Status Index and the Management Index also provide initial inroads into the variety of comparisons and research opportunities presented by the Sustainable Governance Indicators. However, summary overviews of the results are limited in their capacity to deliver the substantive contexts needed for more targeted research questions and interests. This volume therefore includes excerpts from the individual country reports—the executive summary and strategic outlook—for each of the 31 OECD countries surveyed. These excerpts, which summarize the key findings for each country and identify the urgent challenges to be addressed, introduce the reader to the substantive quality of the SGI project, the full extent of which can be explored online at www.sgi-network.org.. Readers are encouraged to download full reports and explore the variety of comparisons made possible by the website.
The website allows users to pursue their individual interests and identify concrete examples of successful practices that can inspire or influence reform measures in other countries. This is not to suggest that policies and approaches yielding success in one country will necessarily yield the same success in another political system. Long-standing institutional path dependencies, the diversity of political cultures, and diverging concepts of the welfare state must be taken into account when considering the state of affairs in another country. Nevertheless, this should not prevent those in search of effective approaches to draw inspiration from the priorities set and success of measures taken in other countries. The SGI 2011 deliver a vast body of qualitative and quantitative data with enormous potential for those vested in improving the state of governance.
An international project of this academic caliber and complexity that sets such high standards of independence and political relevance would not have been possible without the help of several individuals whose knowledge and expertise fueled the two years of work involved in developing this edition of the Sustainable Governance Indicators. We would therefore like to thank the experts from around the globe for providing the individual country reports and the seven regional coordinators—Nils C. Bandelow, Frank Bönker, César Colino, Aurel Croissant, Detlef Jahn, Martin Thunert, and Reimut Zohlnhöfer—for taking on the responsibilities involved with evaluating these reports in order to establish the final reports and scores. We extend our thanks and appreciation as well to the members of the SGI Board, whose expertise and counsel have favorably informed the process. We thank as well all those who have provided technical and practical support in handling, managing, visualizing, and publishing the results for this edition of the SGI. In this capacity, we thank in particular Dieter Dollacker and Dirk Waldik for developing and designing the project’s online work platform, the database, and our website, www.sgi-network.org, as well as Barbara Serfozo for managing the editorial process and translation of various texts. Last but by no means least, I would like to thank all of my colleagues at the Bertelsmann Stiftung who have provided operational and conceptual support. For their tireless effort and commitment, I would like to thank in particular the members of the project team: Najim Azahaf, Thorsten Hellmann, Pia Paulini, Daniel Schraad-Tischler, and Robert Schwarz.
Dr. Stefan EmpterSenior Director Evidence-Based Policies Bertelsmann Stiftung
Theoretical Framework and Methodology
Sustainable Policy Outcomes, High Democratic Standards, and Sound Political Steering as Benchmarks for Measuring Sustainable Governance in the OECD
Daniel Schraad-Tischler, Najim Azahaf

Measuring sustainable governance

The Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Sustainable Governance Indicators (SGI), first published in 2009 (Bertelsmann Stiftung 2009), are a critical counterpart to the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI), which has appeared since 2004. While the BTI assesses the fundamental development of 128 countries in transition to democracy and a market economy, the SGI project closes a previously significant gap, subjecting the highly developed industrial countries of the OECD to a detailed comparison of their own performance in adapting to change. This is accomplished using a set of indicators tailored specially to these states, which take into account the complex challenges and megatrends confronting the OECD states at the beginning of the 21st century. Processes of globalization, migration, dwindling resources, climate change, aging societies, and new security risks place the democracies of the OECD under considerable pressure to adapt and demand a correspondingly dynamic and adaptable policy-making performance (see contribution by Rüb and Ulbricht in this volume). In particular, the dramatic recent experiences associated with the global economic and financial crisis have emphasized the need for an effective and efficient ability to steer policy (see Bertelsmann Stiftung 2010b). In a fast-changing environment, and in the face of increasingly complex constellations of problems, it is more than ever incumbent upon governments to react resolutely in the short term and to assess the long-term consequences of their political activity competently. Since the autumn of 2008, government action has come almost continuously under the heading of “crisis management.” The pressure of acute short-term problems, though it without question demands quick decisions, does not mean considerations of sustainability must be systematically neglected. Indeed, it is only through attention to this issue that the future can ultimately be assured.
This latter point means, in essence, that the steering performance of political actors, their corresponding institutional frameworks, the instruments chosen, and the ultimate outcomes of political activity must always be considered with an eye to the future. To this end, two analytical dimensions can be distinguished: first, a substantive or content-related dimension associated with concrete policy outcomes as well as the political and constitutional frameworks in which they occur; and, second, a more process-oriented dimension concerned with the ability of political actors to steer policies and encompassing the actual interactions between government and civil society actors.
• The substantive aim of “sustainability”-oriented policies should be to avoid shifting unfair burdens to future generations and to produce policy results that imply a preservation of or improvement in the quality of life for present and future generations. Given the above-outlined future challenges and global megatrends, it is necessary to ensure the long-term feasibility of economic, sociopolitical, and environmental systems. These substantive, resultsoriented aims are strongly influenced by the ideas of sustainability and quality of life (for additional details, see the contribution by Rüb and Ulbricht in this volume).
• The more process-oriented dimension of political steering, by contrast, addresses the issue of the state’s actual reform capability and ability to act—that is, the question of whether the quality of a state’s political leadership allows it to identify pressing problems, formulate a range of strategic solutions, and thus advance sustainable policy outcomes. Political steering includes not only the activity of (core) executives, but also their interactions with other institutions and social actors in the various phases of the policy cycle (for more details, see the contribution by Jann and Seyfried in this volume).
These two basic dimensions form the foundation for the SGI’s systematic, indicator-based comparison of OECD countries. More than 80 international experts took part in this large-scale study, which appears now for the second time. On the basis of nearly 150 qualitative and quantitative indicators, SGI experts create a detailed profile of each country’s strengths and weaknesses, in the process advancing the debate on “good governance” and sustainable policy in the OECD world. In doing so, the SGI project follows the explicit mandate of the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s founder, Reinhard Mohn: to identify successful examples (“good practices”) by means of systematic (international) comparison, and to learn from these while keeping each specific national context in mind.
Standing behind this is the project’s guiding goal of generating important context-based knowledge grounded in evidence-based analysis for policymakers, the media, interested citizens, and the broader scholarly community.

Our approach

How exactly do we proceed with measuring sustainable governance? How is the conceptual design of the project’s instruments carried out?
In line with the two basic dimensions described above, the SGI perform the assessment of sustainable governance through a division into two pillars—a Status Index and a Management Index. The Status Index answers the following questions:
• How successful are OECD countries in achieving sustainable policy outcomes?
• How high is the quality of each country’s democratic order?
The Status Index corresponds to the first of the above-outlined analytic dimensions in assessing sustainability. It addresses important ideas central to current international discussions on measuring sustainability, societal progress, and quality of life (cf. Stiglitz, Sen, and Fitoussi 2009). Thus, in the Status Index, readers will not only find purely economic metrics providing information about each society’s economic growth and material prosperity. In fact, the Status Index also includes indicators that explore the success of OECD states in various fields of political activity critical to sustaining the long-term feasibility and elasticity of economic, sociopolitical, and environmental systems, as well as to maintaining a high degree of social participation. Consequently, this includes areas such as education, employment, health, integration, innovation, and the environment.
Figure 1: The two pillars of the SGI
In addition to such traditional policy areas, the SGI’s Status Index also examines the quality of democracy and the rule of law using a variety of individual indicators as a basis. Why is this done? From the perspective of long-term system stability and political performance, the quality of democracy and political participation are crucial aspects of a society’s success. The stability and performance of a political system depends in large part upon the assent and confidence of its citizens. In this sense, guaranteeing opportunities for democratic participation and oversight, as well as the presence of due process and respect for civil rights, are fundamental prerequisites for the legitimacy of a political system. Democratic participation and oversight are also essential to genuine learning and adaptation processes as well as to the ability to change. In their assessment of the quality of democratic-constitutional systems under the rule of law, the SGI consider sustainability—in the sense of long-term system stability—to be a desirable goal.
It is thus a core tenet of the SGI that sustainable policy-making must give democratic considerations a weight equal to that of social, economic, and environmental considerations. In order to do this multidimensionality justice, the Status Index is divided into the components shown in Figure 2. In the contribution by Friedbert W. Rüb and Tom Ulbricht in this volume, these components are addressed in greater detail and embedded in a nuanced manner into a larger conceptual context.
As outlined above, a comprehensive assessment of the OECD countries’ future viability cannot limit itself to measuring policy outcomes and the quality of the democratic order. Rather, the ability of political actors to successfully steer the course of policy must also be taken into account. The SGI accomplish this through the Management Index, which reflects the second analytic dimension, or cornerstone, of sustainability described above. The driving question behind the Management Index is as follows: In each of the OECD states surveyed, how effective is strategic steering capability within the context of the interactions between government and social actors?
In answering this question, the SGI’s Management Index looks to a wide and innovative set of indicators. These indicators enable a nuanced assessment of the extent to which OECD governments—in cooperation with other institutions and social groups in the context of dem-ocratic decision-making processes—are able to identify pressing future problems, develop finely tuned political solutions, and subsequently implement them effectively and efficiently. Drawing on a broad understanding of “governance,” the Management Index first concentrates on the performance of the executive in the narrow sense of the word, analyzing aspects such as strategic planning, policy implementation, communication, and institutional learning. These aspects are measured in the “Executive Capacity” dimension.
Figure 2: Status Index architecture
Second is the assessment of how well the government steers policy-making, which also addresses the question of how the government and social actors (i.e., actors and groups outside the executive itself) cooperate and interact. Here the focus is, on one hand, the accountability of government to citizens, legislatures, the media, political parties, and interest groups—all actors that (can) perform important oversight functions. On the other hand, it is an examination of the essential deliberation processes that broaden the knowledge base necessary for strategic, effective leadership. These deliberation processes take place through a well-targeted policy of including and activating social actors in policy formulation and implementation, and they are considered an integral component of effective political steering. In this context, individual indicators examine, for example, whether governments consult relevant interest groups early in the legislative planning process, or whether interest associations, citizens, and parliaments possess sufficient participatory competence (e.g., policy knowledge, resource levels, etc.) to wield influence within the political process. In short, this part of the Management Index focuses on fundamental oversight and participation processes that can help improve a government’s strategic steering capability. These aspects of governance are measured in the “Executive Accountability” dimension.
Figure 3: Management Index architecture
The Management Index as a whole is comprised of the components shown below, which are the subject of scholarly reflection in the contribution by Werner Jann and Markus Seyfried in this volume.
As in the case of the Status Index, Figure 3 gives only an overview of the Management Index. The categories and criteria comprising the Management Index are based on combined quantitative and qualitative indicators.
These considerations explain why the Sustainable Governance Indicators look at both sides of the “sustainability” coin. On the one hand, the Sustainable Governance Indicators measure the need for reform with a view to sustainable policy outcomes and democratic quality—an assessment made in the Status Index. On the other hand, the indicators measure OECD states’ reform capacity in the sense of steering capability as manifested through governments and civil society actors—an assessment made in the Management Index. With this approach, the SGI project goes farther than existing international rankings in two respects: First, the project considers OECD countries’ need for reform not only from an economic perspective, but also with an awareness of themes such as education, the environment, social affairs, and security. Second, other indices have to date only rarely considered the aspect of reform capacity. Indeed, no other ranking worldwide offers such a depth and breadth of focus. With an eye to its innovative approach, the OECD recently named the SGI project an official “correspondent” in the “Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies” (www.wikiprogress.org). The OECD’s Global Project is the main international framework for the global “Beyond GDP” debate concerning sustainable economies, social participation, and quality of life.

References

Bertelsmann Stiftung. 2010a. Bertelsmann Transformation Index 2010.www.bertelsmanntransformation-index.de/.
Bertelsmann Stiftung, ed. 2010b. Managing the Crisis. A Comparative Analysis of Economic Governance in 14 Countries. Gütersloh: Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung.
Bertelsmann Stiftung, ed. 2009. Sustainable Governance Indicators 2009. Policy Performance and Executive Capacity in the OECD. Gütersloh: Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung.
Stiglitz, Joseph E., Amartya Sen, and Jean-Paul Fitoussi. 2009. Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. www.stiglitz-sen-fitoussi.fr/documents/rapport_anglais.pdf.
The Status Index: Sustainable Governance and Policy Performance
Friedbert W. Rüb, Tom Ulbricht

Introduction

The OECD states are currently facing immense challenges. Democracies are under growing pressure to adapt to economic globalization, migration, environmental and climate change, as well as to a range of social, demographic, and cultural shifts. Ensuring ongoing social stability will require substantive and procedural flexibility in the political sphere (see Brodocz, Schaal, and Llanque 2008).
The Sustainable Governance Indicators (SGI) project aims to identify the structural and procedural challenges confronting the OECD states, to comparatively evaluate their reform mechanisms, and to use this information to assess the sustainability of these democracies. Achieving intelligent and workable political solutions to current challenges will require a careful and thorough assessment of the main constituent factors; as Robert Solow has noted, “talk without measurement is cheap” (1993, 163). By assessing the sustainability of governance and providing comparative data for the OECD states, the SGI survey makes an important contribution to the assessment of how well-prepared these societies are for the future.

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