If there is such thing as the development zeitgeist, it is characterized today by three concepts: good governance, democracy and human rights. This agenda is set, in large part, by the United Nations, the author of such core development texts as the Human Development Report (HDR) and the Millennium Declaration. In 2002, the HDR was subtitled: Deepening Democracy in a Fragmented World, and referred to one or all of these concepts on every page. Yet, even a cursory look at the history of successive UN development decades makes it hard to escape the observation that the turn to “good governance” does not crown a list of stunning development achievements.