Eunomia, as defined in the blog of that name, means "the principle of good order."
It's well worth a look - The Economist calls its author Daniel Larison "a thoughtful paleoconservative." Appropriate enough, given his role as contributing editor of The American Conservative, where his blog appears. After years of equating conservatives with the messianic "neo" variety, it's refreshing to consider that their "paleo" precursors had many common sense attitudes, especially as concern US imperial tendencies.
As opposed to that other Greek word, utopia, eunomia is more attainable, at least intermittently. Oxford's definition - "a political condition of good law, well administered" - at least gives politicians something to aim for.
"Governance" is one of those euphemistic (those Greeks again) words that you might have come to dislike from their overuse, a bit like "wellness" (thank God we're not debating "wellness reform"). Governance is usually preceded by the adjective "good," for you wouldn't want the opposite. Development circles are awash with jobs for governance advisers, where professionals from aid-giving countries spread their knowledge in places with a need for better government.
But wait a minute: as with many such well-meaning efforts, isn't this often a case of "do as I say, not as I do?" Many of these governance advisers hail from places like the US and Europe, where there are numerous examples of governance gone astray, of eunomia tending towards dystopia. Just look at the craziness reigning in the US Congress. Which brings me back to the old time conservatives.
Might country club Republicans, paleoconservatives, and realists of all sorts have more in common than we think with pragmatic Democrats and moderate progressives? Might they be equally appalled at the rise of the Tea Party and the resurgence of extremists like the John Birch Society, as described yesterday in Frank Rich's NYT column "The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged." If anything, Tea Partyers will steal Republican votes, as we are starting to see in places like Texas.
On this side of the Atlantic, while sane European leaders attempt to deal with the economic dystopia of non-eunomic Greece, out surges a loony from the British UKIP Party, Disparaging Farage, crudely attacking the EU leadership and the countries from which they hail.
It's a bit too Pollyanna-ish to see the upside of all this, but the whole point is that the UKIPs and the Tea Parties are not really interested in governance. They revel in their capacity to outrage.
In the US, it should be evident to serious Republicans that to get too close to the barn burners threatens their own ability to govern. Does it help or hurt their cause that a Republican Senator is single-handedly holding up unemployment compensation, including his own constituents'...?
If eunomia is too highfalutin' a concept of governance, how about these two: civility, and civics?