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The Origins of Political Order

  Jan 27, 2014

Francis Fukuyama, a political scientist and economist is listed among the top one hundred thinkers, all over the world. He is also a renowned author of the books: The End of History and The Last Man. On January 23rd, 2014, The Centre of Public Policy and Competitiveness (CPPC) in Strathmore Business School (SBS) hosted Dr. Fukuyama. This was a platform for him to give a lecture on his book, Origins of Political Order: How can Kenya achieve Denmarkness? One of the guests was the British High Commissioner to Kenya, Christian Turner. Also present were: the Dean of SBS, Dr. George Njenga and other invited guests.

Through the auspices of CPPC, Dr. Fukuyama was in Kenya to present a course on ‘The role of public policy in private sector development.’ This is an intensive programme for 35 senior government officials and business leaders from Kenya.

In His lecture, Fukuyama was careful to point out that ‘Denmarkness’ simply refers to a state which is stable, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive and honest. According to him, the aforementioned characteristics contribute to the functionalism of a state. He particularly focused on three basic political institutions: state, rule of law and accountability.

He explained the state to be the legitimate monopoly of force exercised by a leader over a particular area. On the other hand the Rule of law is exercised by setting rules of justice that are binding to all individuals in a society. The institution of accountability of leaders in a state, is a show of democracy. The government should be oriented towards the good of the whole community, and as such, the duties and responsibilities of leaders must be executed in a transparent manner.

In addition Dr. Fukuyama stressed on the need for a state that treats its citizens impersonally. “We live and work in human organizations plagued by nepotism. And as a result, people do not have fair opportunities at work. A relative would be favored for a job instead of the qualified applicant” Dr. Fukuyama reflected.

To expound on impersonal governance, the political scientist used the example of China’s historic government, where all were treated equally. A slight expression of favoritism to a relative or friend would result in severe consequences. The Chinese people understood that partiality would alter the balance of the three institutions (state, rule of law and accountability).

While admitting that no country hits the balance all the time, Dr. Fukuyama noted that the deficit in democracy in Africa, is an impersonal state that can benefit all.

In his closing remarks, Francis Fukuyama held that state building is the responsibility of those living in a particular society with help from others.

Click here to watch the Lecture: Origins of Political Order by Prof Francis Fukuyama

See related article here courtesy of The Standard.

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