The 2019 Berggruen Governance Index

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The 2019 Berggruen Governance Index evaluates countries on the basis of their quality of political governance. To do this, the Index disaggregates governance into three key components: Quality of Democracy (Inputs), Quality of Government (Throughputs) and Quality of Life (Outputs). By disaggregating the capacities of governance, the Index attempts to deepen understanding of the relationship between the democratic feedback, government competence and the provision of public goods.

The Index evaluates 38 countries using the three indices composed of 27 sub-indices measured across a 14-year time span between 2004 and 2018. The 38 countries selected represent about 2/3 of global population and ¾ of global GDP.

The top performers are the usual suspects. Western and Northern Europe, Canada and the US, Australia – all fare quite well. But the interesting insights do not arise from looking at the overall rankings but at evaluating the relative position of any given country across the three indices. For example, some countries rank higher on Quality of Life than they do on Quality of Democracy. The explanation for why a country is able to produce better than expected outputs (Q of L), despite meagre inputs (Q of D) , most likely lies in a strong competence among the sub-indices the make up the Quality of Governance. For countries, the index offers a flexible tool to identify real or potential strengths and weaknesses, and serves as a point of departure for either building on what works or diagnosing and adjusting what does not.

There is a tacit assumption in the democratic world, that high levels of democracy will produce the best Quality of Life, but the Index exposes deeper insights into the actual relationship between them and the importance of government competence and capacity. In so doing, the Index seeks to catalyze a shift in perspective when it comes to how we think about and measure “good” governance.

Supplemental Country Case Studies 2019

As supplements to the 2019 Berggruen Governance Index, five profiles on specific countries were created including the United States, China, Italy, South Africa and Brazil. These countries were selected because they performed better (overachiever) or worse (underachiever) than expected on the Quality of Life given their scores on one of the other indices (Quality of Democracy or Quality of Government). These profiles are not intended as a stand alone documents and are best understood after reviewing the full Index report. They provide interesting examples of the kinds of insights the Index contains and they draw on new data sourced from outside the Governance Index to further explain the results and implications of its findings.

BrazilView Report | Download Report | Download Data

ChinaView Report | Download Report | Download Data

ItalyView Report | Download Report | Download Data

South AfricaView Report | Download Report | Download Data

United StatesView Report | Download Report | Download Data