Well-Functioning Government


The Pillars of Peace is a research framework produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace to describe what makes a society peaceful. A well-functioning government is one of the eight “pillars” identified by the research.

What is a well-functioning government

Well-functioning government can be broken down into two major domains. The first refers to the government’s effectiveness, its governance activities and the rule of law. The second domain refers to the way in which the government shares the same vision as its citizens, that it is accountable and allows its citizens to have a voice in decision making.

We split the measures up into three categories, including:

Government Effectiveness and Governance

Indicates the ability of the government to provide public goods and services, including the implementation of policy, the overall political culture and management of the environment.

Rule of Law

Indicates the functioning of formal and informal justice in a country. Includes the legal regulation of the press, the extent of due process and extent to which government powers are constrained by the legal system.

Voice and accountability

Focuses on the connection of government to the wider population. Includes factors such as the extent of civil liberties and a government’s accountability to wider society.

For more on this Pillar of Peace, including data sources, examples and further analysis, download the Pillars of Peace Report and skip to page 9.

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Pillars of Peace

Our latest research report, the Pillars of Peace, explores the attitudes and institutions that underpin peaceful societies.


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Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.

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