That is the title of Francis Fukuyama’s latest book. I have started reading it. So far, I would summarize it as saying that government must overcome both market failure and government failure. That is, it needs to be effective at providing public goods while serving everyone equally (not succumbing to the problems of public choice). I might summarize this as follows:
|Public Goods Provided||Public Goods Not Provided|
|Treats People Equally||good government||weak government|
|Privileges Elites||crony government||predatory government|
Think of Denmark as good government, China as crony government, Zaire under Mobutu as predatory government, and Afghanistan as weak government. I assume that “political decay” will mean the movement from good government toward either weak government or crony government.
For a review by someone who has finished the book, see Michael Barone.