The UN’s sustainable development goal process includes one goal focused specifically on peace. This goal, SDG 16, collapses peace and good governance into one goal, framed as “just, peaceful and inclusive societies.” This reflects an increasing awareness within the United Nations, academic researchers on peace and security, and international NGOs of the links between good governance, peace, and development. This awareness raises questions about exactly how the concepts of good governance, peace and development are related and what that means for work done to support any of these elements. A new book by David Cortright, Conor Seyle, and Kristen Wall addresses these questions through a review of existing empirical research linking peace and good governance. This talk will review the key conclusions from this book, which include the idea that governance supports peace when it is inclusive in its distribution of public goods, participatory and accountable in operations, and has sufficient capacity and will to deliver security services and human development to the governed. Implications from this research suggest that it is the function as much as the form of governance that matters, and that policy and practice should seek to simultaneously develop the different aspects of governance systems in areas where conflict is a risk or a reality.
Conor Seyle is the Director of the One Earth Future's Research Team. To read more about Dr. Seyle's work, please visit his One Earth Future page.