“Making the road while walking” : statecraft in contemporary times

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    State construction is messy and complex, brimming with contradictions, fraught with conflict and unpredictability. This article identifies a few hurdles likely to be encountered in the simultaneous making and walking of this road. In order to do so, it examines the structure and behaviour of the state, the concept of political settlements, and the “good governance” agenda. The article outlines some implications for public policy that relate to issues of governance, and explores the possibility of working with clientelism and patronage as enablers and contributors to growth, rather than seeing them as pathologies that need to be “corrected” by administrative reforms. Successful delivery of socially inclusive and empowering developmental programmes and projects in the proposed framework hinges on the comprehension and negotiation of social change and transformation in novel and realistic ways.