In the last 20 years, there has been an explosion of 'governance indicators' purporting to measure and track the quality of governance (especially public administration) among states. These indicators are sponsored by international agencies such as the World Bank, NGOs such as Transparency International and Freedom House, and private sector risk assessors. We argue that this web of standards marks a distinctive feature of globalized, if loose, coordination among states and an increase in monitoring and auditing functions. The article reviews the major governance indicators, their characteristics and limitations. We conclude that these indicators are a little noticed, but supremely powerful mechanism of discordant control and discipline on state systems around the world.

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Keywords auditing, discipline, globalization, governance, indicators, monitoring, new public management, public management reform, standards, World Bank
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Journal European Journal of Cultural Studies
Buduru, B. (Bogdan), & Pal, L. (2010). The globalized state: Measuring and monitoring governance. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 13(4), 511–530. doi:10.1177/1367549410377144