Arab Countries

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The governance of each of the 22 members of the Arab League is profiled along the three broad dimensions of participation, rule of law, and transparency and accountability. Each of these dimensions, in turn, covers a variety themes upholding good governance.

Thus the broad dimension of participation is reflected in civil society, elections, gender, legislature, and local government. Civil society offers the tissue of associations and communications that empower individuals to act collectivity. Elections, if fair and free and conducted on regular schedules, are principal instruments of political participation. The extent to which women are also empowered is another important aspect of participation, as is the ability of a freely elected legislature to enact legislation and represent the concerns of their constituents to the executive branch of government. Arguably, in fact, civil societies, free elections, and parliaments are also critical agencies for rendering governments accountable, even if their principal functions are participation and the articulation of interests. Local government is also another instrument for popular participation.

The rule of law is spelled out in constitutions and implemented by judiciaries, while its outcome is reflected in a country's profile of human rights achievements. Transparency and accountability, while partly the task of a vibrant civil society and active parliament, is also reflected in the transparency with which a government runs its public affairs, notably its finances, and in effective measures to combat corruption. Together the nine themes underlying those broad dimensions of participation, rule of law, and transparency and accountability project a profile of governance for each country in the Arab region.

Arab Countries Resources

- Arab Governance News