“Getting to Denmark”

Francis Fukuyama

  • Getting to Denmark is now a widely adopted metaphor for the question of how to transform weak and poor states into well-functioning societies.
  • Fukuyama identifies three elements that together form the pillars of a desirable political order. These are: the modern state; the rule of law; and an accountable and responsive government.
  • These institutions are complex and exceptionally hard to build, but societies do not need to build them in their entirety before they begin to develop. “If that were true”, Fukuyama observed, “no country would ever have gotten anywhere”.
  • Fukuyama believes that economic growth enables expansion and quality improvement in government – the two must evolve together.
  • Reform, Fukuyama believes is possible, even inevitable, under the right circumstances. But those circumstances have to be created through political mobilization and action.

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