"Getting to Denmark" How Societies Build Capable, Democratic and Law-bound States
Professor Fukuyama has a memorable way of referring to the pursuit of a good society. “For people in developing countries”, he observed in 2011, “‘Denmark’ is a mythical place that is known to have good political and economic institutions: it is stable, democratic, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive, and has extremely low levels of political corruption. Everyone would like to figure out how to transform Somalia, Haiti, Nigeria, Iraq or Afghanistan into ‘Denmark’.” Getting to Denmark has now become a widely adopted metaphor for the question of how to transform weak and poor states into well-functioning societies. Fukuyama also uses the notion of “getting to Denmark” to critique the reform agenda of some international development agencies and experts. He believes many of their proposals for developing countries presuppose the existence of the kind of state that Denmark has.