The GOVERNANCE blog

Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

US civil service is in crisis, and academics are asleep at the switch

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In the United States, the presidential race is heating up, and one result is an increasing number of assaults on century-old ideas about the merit-based civil service.  “The merit principle is under fierce attack,” says Donald Kettl, in a new commentary for Governance.  Kettl outlines five “tough questions” that are raised by attacks on the civil service system — and says that the US research community “has been largely asleep at the switch” on all of them.  Within major public policy schools, courses on the public service have been “pushed to the side.”  A century ago, American academics helped to build the American state.  Kettl warns that “scholarly neglect in the 2000s could undermine it.”  Read the commentary.

Written by Governance

August 27, 2015 at 9:06 am

Posted in commentary

Ford School highlights cap-and-trade research

A news release from the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan highlights research just published in Governance on cap-and-trade policies.  The article by Barry Rabe examines how the design of cap-and-trade policies adopted by U.S. states influences the probability that they will survive or die.  Read the article.

Written by Governance

August 20, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

New data on percentage of uncited journal articles in Public Administration

Percent_Uncited_PublicAdmin2014Impact factor data released by Journal Citation Reports provides only a partial view of how articles published in Public Administration journals are subsequently used.  This chart provides an alternate view.  Click on image to enlarge. It shows the percentage of articles published in 2012 and 2013 that were not cited in any journal in 2014.   Overall, 55 percent of articles published in the field in 2012 and 2013 were not cited at all in 2014.  For Governance, the share is 27 percent: that is, 73 percent of articles published in 2012 and 2013 were cited at least once in 2014.  Only one other journal in the field had a lower percentage of uncited articles.  This data was compiled by the Governance publishing team at Wiley.

Written by Governance

August 18, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Posted in Journal rankings

Reviews: Development strategies, privatized infrastructure

In the current issue of Governance, Vivek Srivastava reviewsWorking with the Grain by Brian Levy. “Levy’s central objective of the book is to stake out the middle ground between ‘one-size-fits-all’ best practice approaches on the one hand and ‘every country is unique’ on the other hand . . . Levy’s primary contribution is in providing a relatively simple, elegant, and appealing characterization of ‘context.’ He makes a reasonably convincing case for the framework with the cases he presents.”Read the review.
And Judith Clifton reviews Foreign and Direct Investment in Argentina: The Politics of Privatized Infrastructure by Alison E. Post. “Post comes up with a surprising finding: Foreign-dominated investment was four times more likely to end up with a prematurely canceled contract than investments dominated by a domestic investor. Developing country investors enjoyed an organizational structure better suited to take on a more patient, culturally sensitive,and longer-term investment than their international counterparts.” Read the review.

Written by Governance

August 17, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Why it’s tough to stop the abuse of governmental resources for political purposes

There have been scandals in many advanced democracies about politicians’ abuse of governmental resources for party-political purposes.  But can anything be done about this? In the current issue of Governance, Nicole Bolleyer and Anika Gaujaprovide a framework for thinking about the problem, and reasons for skepticism about the possibility of effective regulation.  “Institutional functions cannot be clearly separated from party-political functions in parliamentary systems,” they argue.  “The much observed increasing regulation of party actors might be less constraining for them in practice than is commonly assumed.”  Read the article.

Written by Governance

August 10, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Better service delivery might not improve the legitimacy of fragile states

In the current issue of GovernanceClaire Mcloughlin challenges the conventional wisdom that the provision of vital public services will always improve the legitimacy of a fragile or conflict-affected state.  Many factors, such as shifting understandings about the role of the state and the ease of attributing performance to state entities, affect judgements about state legitimacy. It follows that legitimacy may not be enhanced by the “‘one-size-fits-all’ modus operandi of state-building” favored by some development agencies. Open access to the article.  Andlink to research citing this article.

Written by Governance

August 10, 2015 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

How ethics experts bolster technocratic power

In the current issue of Governance, Annabelle Littoz-Monnet examines the role of ethics experts who serve on advisory committees for controversial issues within the European Union’s policymaking process.  Such committees are often portrayed as “sites of democratization”, Littoz-Monnet says.  In practice, however, the effect is exactly the opposite.  “Making ethics a matter of expert judgment . . . enables bureaucrats to assert their grip on issues that would normally be solved via the democratic route . . . [and] conceals which ethics and whose values prevail in EU politics.”  Read the article.

Written by Governance

August 3, 2015 at 3:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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