Saturday October 16, 2021

Book highlights problems due to bad governance

LAHORE : ‘Political Economy of Bad Governance’ is a thought provoking book in which writer Jamil Nasir shows how narrow social and political elite structures of a society induce bad governance.

Jamil Nasir is a Columbia alumnus and Chevening Fellow on Economic Governance and Reforms. He is a member of advisory board and senior visiting fellow of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE).

The writer has divided the book in parts where he discusses Democracy, Political Economy, Political Economy of Village, Governance, Corruption, Education, Trade, Taxation, etc. The writer highlights the problems of people facing due to bad governance. After that Jamil Nasir gives solution too. In ‘Some Puzzle of Democracy’ is democracy a superior form of government, he questions. He writes democracy acts as safety valve against violence and frustration. He writes in democracy people have choices and they are heard.

It could be blessings if democracy is inclusive, he mentions and said, “We need to redefine public discourse. Democracy should not be luxury for the elite and middle class. If it is the will of the majority it should have something to offer to the poor and disadvantaged who constitute majority.” He criticised and mentioned ‘we can have a democracy but dysfunctional one, captured by the elite and vested interests. Such democracies are not inclusive and may not be much different from dictatorial regime.’ He stresses human development for all. Jamil Nasir mentions that multi-faceted nature of vulnerability and resilience should be properly understood and persistent vulnerability is a big threat to human development. He explains that structural vulnerabilities are harmful and need to be prioritised by the countries.

The poor, women, minorities in term of ethnicity, language, religion, living in remote areas tend to face comparatively high barriers to build capabilities and exercise choices. They are more vulnerable in the face of economic and environmental shock, he mentioned in the book. The writer glances life of farmers through “Changing Landscape of Rural Life”. He highlights, “There are severe issues of governance relating to agriculture. Scarcity of water, high cost of inputs and poor quality pesticides and seeds etc are major issues which agriculturist complains.” He suggested and stressed on a need for realisation at the policymaking level that rural development is synonymous with the growth and development of big farms.