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“On institutions – an addendum” by Noel Ihebuzor

The successful inauguration ceremonies yesterday in the USA after weeks of turbulence and mayhem prompts these quick reflections on the importance of institutions in governance, alternation and social stability. They extend my earlier musings on institutions and are essentially intended to make the case for all and sundry to abandon short term expediency driven thinking and support citizen efforts and coalitions focused on institution building and strengthening. Sustainable development depends on strong institutions. SDG 16 clearly makes this case.
Institutions are as strong as the degree of immersion of its operators in their key norms and tenets, the socialization of these operators and the larger society into accepting the utility of such norms, the interlocks and interpenetration of their supporting networks and the quality of the enculturation of a critical mass of society of its key ethos and beliefs. The absence of all these explains the sad and repeated and repeating cases of institutional failures in Nigeria. The presence of these explains why Trump could not get the army to violate its oath. Poorly locked down norms and weak norm enculturation among a critical mass of stakeholders also can explain the vagaries, abuses and somersaults in some countries with huge GDPs but febrile and feeble institutions.

Author:

Development and policy analyst with a strong interest in the arts and inclusive social change. Dabbles occasionally into poetry and literary criticism!

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