Archive for the ‘commentary’ Category
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.
It’s easy to be pessimistic about the state of the world, Steven Radelet writes in a new commentary for Governance. But developing countries are doing much better in many ways: They are healthier, wealthier, more peaceful, and more democratic. Will this “great development transformation” continue? It can, says Radelet, if we take three critical steps. “Continued progress for the world’s poor will require persistent commitments to improved governance.” Free access to the commentary.
The United Kingdom was a “vanguard state” for experimentation with administrative reforms that came to be known as the New Public Management, or NPM. After three decades, what results has NPM produced in the UK? Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon address that question in a commentary for Governance. Complaints about maladministration and judicial challenges to government action increased markedly, Hood and Dixon say, while administrative costs “rose substantially” in real terms. On the other hand, trust in government did not collapse, as many critics of NPM feared, and administrative costs did take up a smaller share of total public spending. The overall conclusion? “Government worked a bit worse and cost a bit more.” Free access to the commentary.
Related reading: In a commentary for Governance in July 2014, Jonathan Boston and Chris Eichbaum assessed thirty years of neoliberal reform in New Zealand, another “vanguard state” for NPM. Read their commentary.
Matthew Flinders of the University of Sheffield also noted the discipline’s difficulties in a January 2014 commentary. “Political science has generally failed to fulfill its broader social responsibilities . . . It is — at least in some limited ways — to blame for ‘why we hate politics.'” Read the commentary.
“Criticism of the capacity of the state to deliver quality services has become widespread, generating cynicism and undermining trust in government,” says Carlos Santiso of the Inter-American Development Bank. In a commentary for Governance, Santiso identifies the three key steps toward improving government performance in Latin America and the Caribbean: creating “agile centers of government”; fostering a “technically competent and fiscally sustainable civil service”; and using new technologies to promote transparency. Free access to the commentary.