Sylvester Odhi… (not verified)
June 29, 2021
Governments are formed to deliver services to the citizens. Early philosophies on the role of government, by Hobbes, Locke and the rest revolved around the roles of government as that of ensuring social, political order and ensure that human live together in peace and avoid the danger and fear of civil conflict. That thinking has not changed much in principle, except that in doing all these there is now issues of governance and citizen focus.
Having said that, I wish therefore to suggest that whereas the ROLE OF GOVERNMENT has not changed much, how it ensures it delivers on that mandate has kept on changing from time to time. Neo-liberal thinking of "less state involvement" and NPM saw the mode of delivery of this role revolutionised with concepts of privatization, contracting out and commercialization of hirtherto government functions.
I would argue that what changed with the coming of these concepts was not the Role of Government, but how government delivered its role. The delivery vehicle. In all these changes, the Government delegated responsibility but NOT ACCOUNTABILITY. Even in a liberalised economy - The Public Service - (Government) primary role is to protect the INTEREST OF ITS CITIZENS.
From the foregoing therefore, to avoid confusion the term Government may be confused with - the ruling party, government in Power!! I would then use the term- the ROLE OF THE STATE. If the State is then taken to mean Government then the fundamental role of Government, remains to protect its citizens, and ensure efficient, effective, professional and neutral delivery of service to them.
How the above is delivered has however changed from time to time depending on the environment. In Conclusion, I am therefore submitting that the - role of the State (Government) does rarely change- but the HOW is what has always changed.