"Governability" can refer to the presence (or as ungovernability, lack) of a guiding or controlling rule. Become ungovernable or variations is a related political slogan.


  • At the liberal end of the spectrum, there’s a book called The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission, Michel Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington, Joji Watanuki, produced by the Trilateral Commission, an organization of liberal internationalists. The Carter administration was drawn almost entirely from their ranks. They were concerned with what they called “the crisis of democracy” — namely, that there’s too much democracy.
  • While Lula’s rise to power occurred without major institutional fractures, Kirchner reached the presidency unexpectedly after a turbulent sequence of temporary governments. What in Brazil was a calm transfer of power, in Argentina was a delicate operation to restore the credibility of the state in the face of mass rejection of the political system (expressed in the slogan ‘que se vayan todos’ – get rid of the lot of them).
    Lula marks the final phase of the transformation of the PT^  into a classic bourgeois party, breaking with its left wing past and becoming integrated into a bipartisan system. Its patronage finances an army of bureaucrats who upheld the expulsion of those members of parliament opposed to the pension reforms.
    This transformation of a popular movement into an appendage of capitalist domination was what happened with Peronism^  a long time ago. Kirchner was able to renew yet again the party that has guaranteed governability for the ruling class. But he has shown an uncharacteristic duplicity, veiling clientilism with gestures in defence of human rights, the independence of the judiciary and an attack on corruption.
    • Claudio Katz, Latin America’s new ‘left’ governments (International Socialism 2 : 107, Summer 2005.)

become ungovernable

a banner marked become ungovernable
Become Ungovernable was the theme of the United States Libertarian Party's 2024 national convention
  • Hoover: There are plenty of Republicans who say there’s really no reason to get upset [about the prospect of a second Donald Trump presidency]. We’ve seen what he did in office before, and the institutions held, and the economy was great and the border was more secure. And why would this time be any different?
  • Conway: Because he’s much worse now. And we were very lucky last time. So, I think he’s much, in a much worse psychological state than he was four years ago, and he knows more about how to get his way in government. [...] I think the country would become ungovernable if he became president again.
  • Sobriety, the main guardian of virtue, being once baniſhed, a direct avenue is opened for the admiſſion of every vice, I had almoſt ſaid, of every crime. [...] Men addicted to this ſhameful exceſs loſe by degrees all ſenſe of honour, virtue, and religion; and when theſe ſacred ties are once diſsolved, they become ungovernable, and trample upon all laws human and divine.
  • We have learned how to bring a capitalist economy to its knees through non-violent protest in the face of overwhelming, technologically augmented oppression. We are learning how to become ungovernable by either states or markets. Equally important, we have learned new ways to care for one another without waiting for the state or for authorities. We are rediscovering the power of mutual aid and solidarity. We are learning how to communicate and cooperate anew. We have learned how to organize and to respond quickly, how to make collective decisions and to take responsibility for our fate.
  • The rebellious radicals of right and left argue for partisan policies that appeal to the extremes of their party base. As they do so, political divisions widen, consensus shrinks, and a minority of the party begins to manipulate the majority. This is dangerous territory. The malcontents should remember that, without some give-or-take, without some effort at consensus, our tolerant party system can become ungovernable. In politics, as in life, consensus is wise, not weak; and tolerance is a virtue, not a failing.
    • John Major, 2017 One People Oration at Westminster Abbey
  • In the wake of Ms. Truss’s resignation, the party announced plans to hold another leadership election, its second in three months. As with the contests that anointed Boris Johnson and Ms. Truss as prime minister, the choice will be made jointly by Tory lawmakers and party members. Even if, by some fluke, a half-decent candidate won, it would not help their fortunes. The party is so riven by internal feuds, personal hatred and ideological disagreements that it has become ungovernable.
  • Former President Donald Trump had a message for the Libertarian National Convention May 25: Vote for me or lose again. The confab appeared split between die-hard MAGA fans, who cheered on the former president, and hardcore Libertarians, who booed when Trump took the stage. The mix was perfect for a convention with the theme, “Become ungovernable.”
  • While there is no mechanism to force a General Election, the internal wrangling within the Tory party may mean that ultimately the new PM will simply be so exhausted by the chaos that the country becomes ungovernable.
    • Christian Wolmar, “Some early policy pointers, but we remain in a state of flux”, in RAIL, number 969, page 45 (2022 November 2)