9. GOVERNANCE & GOVERNMENT

In this context, governance refers to legitimate structures and processes, through which societies are managed. Government refers to the specific mechanisms for management. Simple as this might seem, we shall note further along how important they are for interactions in the cyber domain. Government is the lead decision and policy and enforcement entity. Initially framed in the context of the sovereign state, these definitions are generic in form, applicable to all countries, at all levels of development, and in all periods of time. Some similar mechanisms operate in other contexts and entities, such as corporations and non-profit entities.

We define government as the lead decision and policy and enforcement entity. Initially framed in the context of the sovereign state these definitions are generic in form, applicable to all countries, at all levels of development, and in all periods of time. By analogy, similar mechanisms operate in other contexts and entities, such as corporations and non-profit entities.

Here we return to the notion of capabilities introduced above. Especially relevant are the contributions of Almond and Powell (1966)1 who defined government activities as extractive, distributive, responsive, regulative and symbolic in nature. It is not difficult to see the connection between this view of capabilities and most of the variables in the state’s national budget. Less obvious, is the reconciliation of these capabilities with one of the most fundamental functions of government, not explicitly addressed by Almond and Powell, namely the provision of national security.

In efforts to meet demand -- or to expand capacity for purposes of meeting demands - often creates unintended consequences that may undermine the government‘s own position. Thus, the management of demands and capabilities is the intervening process relating state profiles and their characteristics features to propensities for external behavior. The generic governance challenge is how best to manage two counter prevailing processes (a) pressures emanating from societal demand creating loads on the system and (b) capacities of government to manage the loads, respond to pressures, while avoiding any conflict and large-scale disruptions.


  1. Almond, G. A., Powell, G. B., & Rogers D. Spotswood Collection. (1966). Comparative politics: a developmental approach. Boston: Little, Brown.