Governance and Culture go hand in hand and for the first couple of posts, we will christen this blog space be defining these two terms in the hopes that everything else blogged on this platform can be interpreted through the lens of these two pillars of any society.
Let’s begin with the word Governance? I learned a while back that to adequately define a word, you need to find out its etymology. Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time. Many folks today do not pay attention to the history of words and how they came about or developed across time but this is a very important tool for understanding the present based on the solid foundation of the past.
Governance comes from a Greek word kubernaō. According to Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries, it means to steer referring to what a pilot or helmsman does. It has a Latin derivative which is spelt Gubnero. According to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf blog, “Gubnero was a favorite word of the great ancient Roman orator Cicero. Guberno is “to steer or pilot a ship”. Logically, it also means “to direct, manage, conduct, govern, guide”. The Liddell, Scott, Jones Greek Lexicon, or LSJ, says that kubernao is “steer”, “drive” and metaphorically “guide, govern” and then “act as a pilot…””
In the case of the governed being a state or a business, governance simply refers to everything that goes into steering or piloting the affairs of the governed. In the case of a state, governance would refer to everything that goes into steering or piloting the affairs of the state for the greater benefit of its citizens. These affairs could range from political affairs, international affairs, economic affairs or even social affairs.
SO when the word governance is used in future posts, this is what is meant as deducted from its etymological root. This is a broad yet simple definition that can be applied to a state, business, family, industry etc.