The Latin model of governance

The Latin model8 of governance tends to be less codified than the Anglo Saxon model and finds less need for procedures for adjudication. This is because it is founded in the context of the family and the local community. In some respects therefore it is the opposite of the Ango Saxon model, being based on a bottom up philosophy rather than a hierarchical top down approach. Thus this model is based on the fact that extended families are associated with all other family members and therefore feel obligated. And older members of the family are deemed to have more wisdom and therefore assume a leadership role because of the respect accorded them by other family members. As a consequence there is no real need for formal codification of governance procedures and the system of adjudication does not need to be formalized - it works very satisfactorily on an informal basis. Moreover this model is extended from the family to the local community and works on the same basis.

In many ways the network form of governance described in Chapter 1 is based on this Latin model, insofar as it is predicated in informal relationships of mutual interest, and without the need for codification: this need is not required because of the interest of all parties in maintaining the working relationships which exist. Thus tradition can be said to play a part in this model of governance - trust based on tradition because it has worked in the past and can be expected to continue working into the future. The network form however is based on a lack of significant power inequalities whereas the Latin model definitely does have a hierarchy and power is distributed unequally. The power is distributed according to age however and therefore it is acceptable to everyone because they know that they will automatically rise up the hierarchy - thereby acquiring power - as they age. The process is therefore inevitable and deemed to be acceptably fair.

The Ottoman model of governance

The Ottoman Empire existed for 600 years until the early part of the twentieth century. Although the empire itself is well known, few people know too much about it. Throughout Europe, at least, the reality is obscured by the various myths which abound - and were mostly created during the latter part of the nineteenth century - primarily by rival states and for political propaganda purposes. The reality was of course different from the myths and the empire had a distinct model of governance which was sufficiently robust to survive for 600 years, although much modern analysis suggests that the lack of flexibility and willingness to change in the model was one of the principle causes of the failure of the empire. We do not wish to enter into this debate and will restrict ourselves to an analysis of this distinct model of governance.

According to the fifteenth century statesman, Tursun Beg, it is only statecraft which enables the harmonious living together of people in society and in the Ottoman empire there were two aspects to this statecraft - the power and authority of the rule (the Sultan) and the divine reason of Sharia (via the Caliph) (Inalcik 1968). In the Ottoman Empire these two were combined in one person. The Ottoman Empire was of course Islamic, but notable for its tolerance of other religions. It has been argued (Cone, 2003), that the Islamic understanding of governance and corporate responsibility shares some fundamental similarities with the Rawlsian concept of social justice as mutual agreement among equals (motivated by self interest). All parties must be fully aware of the risks attendant on a particular course of action and be accepting of equal liability for the outcomes, good or bad.

Muslims see Islam as the religion of trade and business, making no distinction between men and women and seeing no contradiction between profit and moral acts (Rizk 2005). The governance system was effectively a form of patronage which operated in a hierarchical manner but with the systems and procedures being delegated in return for the benefits being shared in an equitable manner. This enabled a very devolved form of governance to operate effectively for so long over such a large area of Asia, Europe and Africa. It is alien to the Anglo Saxon view because the systems involved payment for favors in a way that the Anglo Saxon model would interpret as corrupt but which the Ottoman model interprets simply as a way of devolving governance. It is interesting to observe therefore that the problems with failure of governance in the current era could not have occurred within the Ottoman model because there was no space left for the necessary secrecy and abuse of power.

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