Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Results from our survey on important books of the last 30 years

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1106p45-salt-shaker-mGovernance will begin its 30th year of publication in 2017.  To mark our anniversary, in January 2016 we asked readers of our newsletter to nominate books published in 1988 or afterward that have made an important contribution on subjects covered by the journal. Here are the results.  Take these results with a large grain of salt.  Only 74 of our 5000 newsletter readers responded to the survey, and their 169 suggestions actually included more than 100 different books.  Still, you might find the results interesting.  We’ve included every title that was mentioned more than once.  Comments welcomed — see below. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Governance

February 9, 2016 at 7:35 pm

Posted in 30th anniversary

Explaining how and why indirect rule persists

It’s commonplace for scholars to explain weak state institutions in many countries as a result of the practice of indirect rule in the colonial era.  In the current issue of GovernanceAdnan Naseemullah and Paul Staniland argue that this story needs to be refined.  In fact, the broad label of “indirect rule” has been applied to “a diverse set of governance forms that need to be clearly distinguished.”  Some of those practices persist today — but not simply because of path dependence.  Post-colonial governments “have made conscious choices about how to govern,” and used some modes of indirect rule to accommodate the reality of “limited governing resources.”  Read the article.

Written by Governance

February 9, 2016 at 5:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

How Russia used self-regulation to evade corruption

Hedberg_2015_smIn 2010, something odd happened in the Russian construction sector.  The “control-oriented” Russian government decided to hand off regulatory power to the private sector — and did this despite objections of the industry itself.  In the current issue ofGovernance, Masha Hedberg explains this “perplexing” development.  The Russian government wanted to sidestep an ineffective and corrupt bureaucracy, while industry leaders recognized that the new regime was likely to be tougher than the status quo.  Hedberg says that conventional explanations of delegation neglect cases like this, in which “low capacity bureaucracies severely curtail the government’s ability to enact its policy agenda.” Read the article.

Written by Governance

February 1, 2016 at 5:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

How China manages capitalism for its own purposes

When Margaret Thatcher and Deng Xiaoping rose to leadership positions in 1978-79,British GDP was 2.5 times larger than Chinese GDP.  By 2014, Chinese GDP was 3.5 times larger than British GDP.  In the current issue of Governance, Roselyn Hsueh examines the institutional foundations of China’s capitalist transformation.  Too often, says Hsueh, researchers have emphasized a “unidirectional transition toward a market economy.”  However their are important differences between sectors.  Strategically important sectors are shaped by “calibrated state interventions” including state ownership and restrictions on foreign investment.  Hsueh says that China is pursuing a model of “bifurcated capitalism.”  Read the article.

Hsueh also discusses her article on the Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage blog. “Chinese-style capitalism,” Hsueh says, “involves two primary components.”  Read the Monkey Cage article.
And read Governance‘s 2012 review of Hsueh’s book, China’s Regulatory State. Read the review.

Written by Governance

January 18, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

What is the most important book of the last 30 years?

Governance will begin its 30th year of publication in 2017.  It provides a forum for the theoretical and practical discussion of executive politics, public policy, administration, and the organization of the state, with an emphasis on articles that take an international or comparative approach.   To mark our anniversary, we’re asking readers to nominate books published in 1988 or afterward that have made an important contribution to on subjects covered by the journal. We’ll post a list on our blog later in 2016, and publish retrospective reviews of selected books in 2017.  Nominate a book here.

Written by Governance

January 17, 2016 at 5:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

When do cap-and-trade programs survive?

Climate change is an “urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies.”  So said national leaders at the Paris climate conference three weeks ago.  But it has proved difficult to design durable programs to control greenhouse gas emissions.  In the current issue of GovernanceBarry Rabe observes that half of the U.S. states that made formal commitments to cap-and-trade programs by the end of 2008 had abandoned those commitments by 2013.  Rabe identifies three features that explain why some commitments persisted: political resilience, administrative flexibility, and the capacity to produce demonstrable benefits that sustain constituency support.  Open access to the article.

Written by Governance

January 11, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Migration: Unilateralism is putting lives at risk

International migration, Susan F. Martin says in a new commentary for Governance, is “one of the most salient but poorly managed issues on the twenty-first policy agenda.”  Why? Because governments persist in pursuing unilateral solutions to “a transnational issue that requires multilateral approaches.”  National leaders need to negotiate stronger agreements about the allocation of responsibilities for managing the international movement of people.  And the United Nations’ institutional capabilities need to be overhauled.  Such reforms, says Martin, “could help save millions of lives.”  Free access to the commentary.

Written by Governance

January 4, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Posted in commentary


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