Good Governance and Party System Change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While scholars and practitioners have extensively analyzed the causes, the consequences and, more generally, the correlates of good governance, little-to-no attention has been paid to whether the institutionalization of political parties—as evidenced by the stability of the party system—is in any way related to good governance. The purpose of this article is to explore the relationship between party system change, good governance, and its dividends. The analyses reveal three main conclusions. First, the stability of a party system is strongly and significantly related to each of the good governance indicators identified by Kaufmann and his colleagues. Second, that while party system instability is not significantly related to a country's wealth, it has a positive impact on economic growth even when we control for the effects of good governance. Third, that good enough governance is a better predictor of economic performance than good governance. Related Articles: Nwokora, Zim, and Riccardo Pelizzo. 2015. “The Political Consequences of Party System Change.” Politics & Policy 43 (4): 453-473. Pelizzo, Riccardo, and Salvatore J. Babones. 2003. “The Political Economy of Polarization: The Italian Case, 1963-1987.” Politics & Policy 31 (1): 54-78. Pelizzo, Riccardo, and Zim Nwokora. 2016. “Bridging the Divide: Measuring Party System Change and Classifying Party Systems.” Politics & Policy 44 (6): 1017-1052. Related Media: “Challenges of Governance in Africa - HE President Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe.” 2017. “#TalkAfrica: Good Governance in Africa.” 2018. Crocker, Chester A. 2019. “African Governance: Challenges and Their Implications.”

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-287
Number of pages23
JournalPolitics and Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • Development
  • Elections
  • Good Governance
  • Index of Fluidity
  • Institutionalization
  • Party System Change
  • Party Systems
  • Political Parties
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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