International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Government They Deserve: Why Unelected Governments Have No Reason to Be Responsive
Bakry Elmedni, Ph.D.

This paper intends to differentiate between two major political terms, ruling and governing, that were largely confused when analyzing political behaviors of nondemocratic governments in the developing south. Its purpose is to draw the line between the two terms when used as analytical tools. The paper argues that ruling is about staying in power and governing is about implementing rational policies that promote common good. Because these two terms have very distinct meaning and implications, applying governing tools to analyze authoritarian regimes, which aim to rule, can lead to misconception and faulty analysis. The paper ultimately calls for a paradigm shift in how the terms governance and accountability are used in understanding the political behaviors of nondemocratic regimes. This can be done by focusing on the motives of the ruling elites and applying tools that are relevant to their context rather than the universal assumption that every government is about promoting the common good.

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