The 2014 Levine Book Prize has been awarded to Christopher Adolph of the University of Washington for his book Bankers, Bureaucrats, and Central Bank Politics (Cambridge University Press). The prize committee was composed of Professors Agnes Batory (Central European University; Chair), Luc Juillet (University of Ottawa) and Julia Fleischer (University of Amsterdam). The committee says that Adolph’s book “raises important questions about the assumed all-importance of central bank independence and provides a fascinating insight into the ways the professional background of key officials shapes monetary policy.” Read more.
And Sarah Holsen reviews New Perspectives on Public Services: Places and Technology by Christopher Pollitt. “Pollitt’s goal,” says Holsen, “is to explore how, in the face of technological change, the provision of public services shapes the places in which they are located, how the characteristics of places influences how services are provided, and how the location of government and its services impact the landscape of interaction between government and citizen.” Read the review.
The representation of women in cabinets and legislatures has increased sharply since the 1990s, although it still falls far short of parity with men. What explains the recent shift? In the current issue of Governance, Suraj Jacob, John Scherpereel and Melinda Adams argued that international norms have played an important role. Their study relies on an original global database of cabinet ministers from 1979 to 2009. “A gender-balanced decision-making norm has become embedded in the world polity,” they argue. But the norm still has limits: it is “more likely to generate gains in low-prestige cabinet positions than in high-prestige positions.” Read the article.
Finance Minister Roger Douglas announces 1984 Labour budget
Thirty years ago, on July 14, 1984, New Zealand voters elected a Labour government that launched a far-reaching program of public sector reforms. The “New Zealand model” became famous around the globe. In the current issue of Governance, Jonathan Boston and Chris Eichbaum of Victoria University examine the long-term effects of the reform program begun in 1984. Neoliberal reforms triggered electoral changes that made full realization of the neoliberal program impossible. Today, they write, “there is evidence of not one but two unfinished intellectual projects” — the neoliberal revolution, and the constitutional pushback. Free access to the commentary.
Many government policies work only if citizens or corporations comply with their requirements. But what determines whether citizens or corporations will comply? In the current issue of Governance, R. Kent Weaver proposes a better framework for understanding compliance problems, and highlights the difficulties that arise when there is substantial variety within target populations. Weaver applies the framework to Swedish and American case studies that highlight “how variations in barriers and target characteristics affect government responses to perceived policy failures.” Read the article.
The Structure and Organization of Government Project (SOG‐PRO) is a collaborative research programme that is recently jointly funded by the national scientific research foundations of the Netherlands (NWO), France (ANR), Germany (DFG), and the United Kingdom (ESRC) under the Open Research Area Plus programme. SOG‐PRO aspires to develop and search for innovative ways to describe and understand the organizational dynamics at the level of central government. The project starts on 1 September 2014 and will run for three years. To this end the research teams are looking for highly qualified and motivated researchers at the postdoc and PhD levels. The candidates should have a background in the social sciences, preferably public administration, political science or sociology. The quantitative and qualitative aspects of the research project are equally important, so proficiency in mixed method approaches is highly preferred. Learn more about the available positions.
The IPSA Research Committee on the Structure and Organization of Government (SOG) invites paper proposals for a conference to be held at the University of Bergen, Norway, on February 19-20, 2015. The conference theme is Accountability and Welfare State Reforms. The deadline for submission of abstracts is September 15, 2014. Obtain more details about the call for papers here.