State capacity depends, most of all, of its democratic institutions. Only a strong and legitimate state will be able to provide good governance, individual and social justice, the guarantee of property rights and contracts, the protection to political and social rights, the defence of the national interests. An effective and efficient democratic state depends also on a good state organization and on competent government officials, able to make trade-offs between their legitimate personal objectives and the public interest. Public management reform is the contemporary form of assuring this kind state organization. In modern democracies, government officials–public managers as well as elected politicians–although also looking out for their own interests, are supposed to share republican virtues, to be committed to the general interest and to the protection of the public patrimony. Democratic institutions make them accountable for that.
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