Probably the best compilation of data related to governance can be found here . The data can be viewed interactively (this is how I created the world map above that is being used as the page header for my website) here. The data include measures for most of the world’s countries on the following:
The Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project
reports aggregate and individual governance indicators for 212 countries and territories over the period 1996–2006, for six dimensions of governance:
Voice and Accountability
Political Stability and Absence of Violence
Rule of Law
Control of Corruption
The aggregate indicators combine the views of a large number of enterprise, citizen and expert survey respondents in industrial and developing countries. The individual data sources underlying the aggregate indicators are drawn from a diverse variety of survey institutes, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations.
The six aggregate indicators and the underlying data sources can be viewed interactively on the Governance Indicators webpage of this site. Documentation of the latest update of the WGI can be found in “Governance Matters VI: Governance Indicators for 1996–2006.” Further documentation and research using the WGI is available on the Resources page of this website or at www.worldbank.org/wbi/governance.
What is governance? From the website we find this definition of governance:
Governance consists of the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised. This includes the process by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced; the capacity of the government to effectively formulate and implement sound policies; and the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them.