November 1, 2010 - admin

Volume 36, Issue 6: Government, Governing, and Governance

Government: the office, authority or function of governing. Governing: having control or rule over oneself. Governance: the activity of governing. Accordingly, governance is a set of decisions and processes made to reflect social expectations through the manage- ment or leadership of the government (by extension, under liberal democratic ideals, the will of ‘the people’ as they rule themselves). There are many issues implicit in this set of relationships whose core revolves around the notion of citizenship as this defines the body politic over which claims of self-rule apply. In the most general sense we have the difference between a liberal democratic view that the government (state) serves citizens who have a natural claim on services as a benefit and right of citizenship on the one hand, and on the other the counter enlightenment view often associated with fascism: that the citizen must serve the state and has no rights other than those granted by the state. In what may be called the American model citizenship is a broadly endowed set of rights representing potential claims for benefits, as defined by the state. The result is that in the USA what constitutes a valid claim of citizens is contested, and then the question of who qualifies to have claims met is debated…

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