Sub-national institutional performance across Ghana’s districts and regions – variation and causes
Why do some democratic governments perform better than others? This is an important question for both research and policy. Building on literatures on governance, state capability, and institutional performance, this research initiative explores this question through focused consideration of institutional performance at the subnational level in Ghana.
One starting point for this research is Robert Putnam’s classic Making Democracy Work, which explores variation in institutional performance and its causes across Italy’s regions. While Putnam’s book is best known for its central argument — that institutions are shaped by the social contexts in which they operate, in particular the vibrancy of civic community — another important part of Putnam’s study is its attention to conceptualizing and assessing institutional performance across Italy’s regions. In this research initiative, we extend from this approach and other work to consider institutional (government) performance at the subnational level in Ghana, across districts and regions.
The aim is to produce a new framework for consideration of institutional performance at the subnational level in Ghana, a new dataset and comparison of institutional performance across Ghana’s regions and districts, and new analysis of the correlates, causes, and implications of such variation.
This research initiative is part of the project The state and statebuilding in the Global South – international and local interactions.