A Comparative Study of Good Government in EU Regions
Chapter 3: Evaluating EU countries by QoG: national level
As noted in the introduction to this book, most of us who follow current events and politics in Europe are fully aware that certain countries are plagued with higher corruption, weaker rule of law and a less impartial bureaucracy. We frequently hear in the media about problems in countries such as Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, and Romania, while certain countries, mainly in the north such as Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Finland, provide relatively high-quality public services that are generally clean of corruption. Yet, in the social sciences, we must of course take these insights one step further and attempt to measure them more scientifically so that we can make meaningful comparisons. Luckily, at the national level at least, a surge of data has entered the field since roughly the mid-1990s. In the end, however, among all the recent sources of data, we must choose the best and most appropriate source with which to map QoG in the EU. In this chapter, we briefly discuss several of the leading data alternatives and then go into some detail about the measurement used in this study: the World Bank Governance Indicators (‘WGI’, Kaufmann et al. 2009).
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