The GOVERNANCE blog

Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Archive for the ‘Current issue’ Category

Privileged pluralism: How major interests keep power

In the current issue of Governance, Anne Skorkjaer Binderkrantz, Peter Munk Christiansen, and Helene Helboe Pedersen examine the dynamics of interest group activity in Denmark, based a unique large data set.  They reject the simple notion that the availability of multiple arenas assures diversity in interest group representation.  The evidence shows that “when it comes to the major players, cumulative effects are evident; that is the same groups dominate across all arenas.”  They call this system of “privileged pluralism.” Free access to the article.

Written by governancejournal

March 10, 2015 at 7:50 pm

Posted in Current issue

Why governments adopt strong transparency laws

When are governments likely to adopt strong transparency laws?  Greg Michener says that too much of the existing research has tried to answer that question by looking only at countries with single-party or small-coalition governments.  In those cases, political leaders often have strong reasons for resisting openness.  The dynamic is different when the number of parties controlling government rises.  In broad multiparty coalitions, transparency laws can be used as tools for monitoring coalition partners.  Michener uses Brazil’s experience with freedom of information law to illustrate his argument.  “The leaders of large coalitions,” Michener concludes, “may find FOI particularly appealing because it avoids the high political costs of ‘shadowing ministers’ or traceable leaks.  It delegates diffuse monitoring responsibilities to citizens.”  Free access to the article.

Written by governancejournal

February 15, 2015 at 7:50 am

Posted in Current issue

Buying offices in the Eurasian state

How does the state actually work in post-Soviet Eurasia?  Put aside the notion that these countries are moving toward modern liberal democratic statehood, Johan Engvall of Uppsala University argues in the current issue of Governance.  What is evolving, instead, is the state as a kind of investment market, in which would-be officials invest in offices to obtain access to streams of income associated with those offices.  Drawing on fieldwork in Kyrgyzstan between 2006 and 2013, Engvall explains how the system works.  “Office-holding,” he says, “resembles a rather uncertain franchise-like agreement.”  Free access to the article.

Written by governancejournal

February 6, 2015 at 7:14 am

Posted in Current issue

How task complexity affects project success

When can external actors intervene to improve public health in areas of limited statehood?  In the current issue of Governance, Marco Schäferhoff argues that task complexity plays a critical role in determining the prospects for success.  Schäferhoff examines the work of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in different regions of Somalia.  Simple but important tasks, such as malaria prevention and tuberculosis treatment, could be accomplished even in areas where state authority has long been absent.  But the likelihood of success in such regions declined substantially for more complex tasks, such as AIDS treatment, that require many interventions by a number of entities.  Read the article.

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January 2, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Posted in Current issue

Which first: state capacity or democracy?

Voters in India, 2014

Conventional wisdom says that a sound and functioning state has to be in place before democracy can be introduced.  The possibility that democratization might contribute to state-building “has hardly been addressed in empirical research,” Giovanni Carbone and Vincenzo Memoli argue in the current issue of Governance.  Their findings?  More democratic countries are more likely to develop stronger and more effective states.  Countries that reach and sustain a certain level of democratization are particularly likely to realize the benefits of a well-developed state.  “Our findings have evident policy implications,” Carbone and Memoli say.  “Authoritarian rulers do not make better ‘state consolidators’.”   Read the article.

Written by governancejournal

January 2, 2015 at 9:31 am

Posted in Current issue

Can transnational P3’s deliver basic services?

Transnational public-private partnerships are transboundary alliances between public and private actors that are aimed at providing food, sanitation and water in countries like Bangladesh, India and Kenya.  In the current issue of Governance, Marianne Beisheim, Andrea Liese, Hannah Janetschek and Johanna Sarre examine when these partnerships will work.  Emphasizing community participation helps to build legitimacy, which increases the likelihood of success.  Effective projects also allow room for tailoring of projects to local needs.  Close monitoring is critical as well.  Read the article.

Written by governancejournal

December 22, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Posted in Current issue

Fighting corruption: You need pressure from below

The southern Caucasus, Tanja Börzel and Vera van Hüllen write in the current issue of Governance, is “one of the most corrupt regions in the world.”  And European Union anticorruption programs have had mixed effects: some success in Georgia, but none in Armenia and Azerbaijan.  What accounts for the difference?  “One factor,” Börzel and van Hüllen argue, “legitimacy.”  In Georgia, societal outrage against corruption meant that there was pressure on political elites to take anticorruption measures seriously.  EU initiatives failed when they were not accompanied by “pressure from below.”  Read the article.

Written by governancejournal

December 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Posted in Current issue

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