Archive for the ‘book reviews’ Category
In the current issue of Governance, Alasdair Roberts reviews Breaking Democracy’s Spell by John Dunn. Dunn renders “a harsh judgment on Western democracies . . . But there are reasons to think why it might not be fair.” Read the review.
And Kai Chen of Zhejang University reviews The Routledge Companion to Public-Private Partnerships, edited by Piet de Vries and Etienne Yehoue. “This compelling and thought-provoking volume is an excellent addition to the literature on public-private partnerships.” Read the review.
In the current issue of Governance, Allen Schick reviews The International Handbook of Public Financial Management, edited by Richard Allen, Richard Hemming, and Barry Potter. “The handbook is forthright in describing the many reforms that have energized PFM practices in recent decades,” Schick says. But “By their disregard of politics, almost all of the Handbook‘s dream team of authors purges PFM of political content and influence.” Read the review.
And Alvin Camba reviews Participatory Governance in the EU, by Karl-Oskar Lindgren and Thomas Persson. The book uses a case study of chemical regulation to determine whether civil society participation enhances the formation of a democratic EU. There are difficulties with argumentation and evidence, Camba says. Still, “this is a fresh and timely contribution to the governance literature.” Read the review.
Book reviews: Environmental policy, corruption, and the World Bank’s attempt to understand political economy
Peter Larmour of Australian National University reviews Different Paths to Curbing Corruption, edited by Jon S.T. Quah. This set of five country case studies “complements and extends current econometric approaches to understanding corruption and relates it to broader macrohistorical themes in development.” Read the review.
Thomas Carothers and Diane de Gramont of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace review Problem-Driven Political Economy Analysis: The World Bank’s Experience, edited by Verena Fritz, Brian Levy, and Rachel Ort. The book is a “far-reaching, informative examination” of the World Bank’s attempt to improve its analysis of the political feasibility of proposed programs. All of the case studies “bring up a central problem: clientelism.” And the book emphasizes the need for more attention to “politically responsive policy design.” Read the review.
In the current issue of Governance, Felix Kiruthu of Kenyatta University reviews Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post Disaster Recovery by Daniel Aldrich. “Aldrich’s work,” says Kiruthu, “has profound implications for the role of politicians, bureaucrats, researchers and non-governmental organizations.” Read the review.
Patrick Schmidt reviews Policing the Markets: Inside the Black Box of Securities Enforcement by James Williams. Schmidt says that Williams’ study of Canadian securities regulation “advances the state of the art in the empirical study of regulatory enforcement.” Read the review.
And Albert Weale of University College London reviews Politics, Health, and Health Care by Theodore Marmor and Rudolf Klein. The book collects essays written over forty years “united by a concern to show how ideas, interests and institutions combine to bring about policy outcomes.” Read the review.
In the current issue of Governance, Shruti Majumdar reviews Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Structural Violence, and Poverty and India, by Akhil Gupta. Majumdar says that the book “paints a vivid picture of a Weberian nightmare — a state whose everyday functioning is shot through with neither rationalization nor administrative logic, rather with contingency, guesswork, and ‘barely controlled chaos.'” Free access to the review.
And Clare Lockhart reviews Why Peace Fails: The Causes and Prevention of Civil War Recurrence by Charles T. Coll. The book’s “major contribution,” Lockhart says, “is to focus attention on the critical policy issue of why peace agreements break down and on the central importance of political dynamics following the apparent achievement of peace.” Free access to the review.