Defence Governance in the Asia Pacific Century

Defence Governance in the Asia Pacific Century

The White Paper adopts two very different approaches to governance. In other countries, especially developing countries, governance is problematic, something that needs to be addressed to deal with instability and potential security threats. This is governance in the broad political sense of the word, nationally and internationally. The White Paper discussion of governance within the Defence organisation is about structures and processes (accountability, performance management, assurance); that is, an organisational or “corporate governance” approach. The divergence between the two approaches is huge, but not surprising given the lack of any established definition of governance in the scholarly literature and the variety of interpretations of the term among different disciplines. What is interesting is the implicit assumption embodied in the White Paper that governance is difficult abroad but tractable at home.

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