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In recent years, the use of the term “governance” has risen exponentially, often replacing the kindred term government. While the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, many scholars have sought to distinguish them by giving “governance” a broader and less political meaning. This approach, however, tends to underestimate the essential role of the state and to overlook the central importance of politics. On the whole, democracies tend to be better governed than autocracies, but there are exceptions to this rule. The distinction between good and bad government has long been understood by people everywhere, even in societies where there has been no notion of popular participation. The relationship between democracy and good governance is a very complex one, and a serious analysis of it leads toward the realm of political philosophy.