World-renowned political scholar Prof. Francis Fukuyama, delivered a public lecture titled, “Political Order and Political Decay; From Industrial revolution to the Globalization of Democracy based on his newest book by the same title at Strathmore Business School on Tuesday, 19th May 2015.
This was the second public lecture at the business school by the scholar who has written widely on issues relating to questions concerning democratization and international political economy. In 2014, he delivered a lecture on the Origins of Political Order, which provided a sweeping account of how the basic political institutions were developed and why we continue to live in a world where democracy, prosperity, and law and order are unevenly distributed.
Prof. Fukuyama stated that modern-day political instability is characterized by a reflex response, which ripples to other countries. An illustration of this; is one of the major challenges thronging modern-day political stability; the ravaging increase of terrorist activities. Putting this thought into perspective, He gave illustrations of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East whose increasing instability has left a political power vacuum filled by radical Islamists, a great threat to development and national stability as a whole.
World Economists have come to the realization that you dont get economic growth if you dont have the right political institutions, said Prof. Fukuyama. Further on into the lecture; he took the audience through the tree critical institutions which have to be in existence in developing and sustaining a just political order.
Top on the list was the State. He defined the state as the legitimate economy force over a territory, with the unique distinguishing factor being, the power which a state creates and has control of. The state should generate and use power in protecting its citizens, defending themselves from external enemies and threats, providing public goods and services, proper health care, education, and infrastructure. The second was the rule of law; which in a nutshell is the ability to restrain and limit power usage. Whereas the state creates power, the rule of law should constrain and limit how that power s utilised and in which benefit.
The third was democratic credibility. Democracy is easily demonstrated in conducting free and fair elections, which serves as one of the purposes of democratic procedures which is to help political systems achieved political credibility. If any of these aspects are out of balance, the political functionality of the whole country is under jeopardy.
He concluded by mentioning that political instability thrived in weak social, economic and political institutions.
Different case scenarios derived from political scenes of various countries were discussed with the session coming at a close in an open discussion where the audience channeled their queries and thoughts.