The current push for innovation in governance repeats a familiar historical pattern as societies grapple with fast changing circumstances. It begins with administrative reforms to improve the performance of public authorities, moves invariably on to changes in public policy that take into account the benefits to the ruled as well as the rulers in pursuit of good governance, then involves the more difficult task of wider institutional reform, and finally requires institutional innovation to complete the cycle of modernization. This is the continuing struggle to overcome the dysfunctions of bureaucratization and to inject creativity into the ever-increasing complex process of conducting the public's business. The imperative arises from the gap between results obtained and rising expectations. While the process is somewhat consistent, the substance changes radically over time as public leaders try to catch up with advances in other fields of knowledge despite lagging outcomes as people resist change. Hence in governance, reforms and overhauls often disappoint as traditional arrangements persist beyond their time.
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