The GOVERNANCE blog

Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Archive for the ‘Current issue’ Category

Do states really matter?

 Conventional wisdom says that the state plays a central role in explaining the enormous variation in provision of essential services around the world.  In the current issue of Governance, Melissa Lee, Gregor Walter-Drop, and John Wiesel challenge that view.  Examining data from more than 150 countries, they find “remarkably little evidence of a consistent relationship between statehood and service delivery.”  Some key services are provided even in areas where statehood is woefully lacking.  “This result,” the authors conclude, “casts doubt on the conventional wisdom about the centrality of the state for the provision of collective goods and services.”  Read the article.

Written by governancejournal

October 24, 2014 at 6:04 am

Posted in Current issue

Why state-building interventions fail

International trusteeships — that is, United Nations-sanctioned efforts to directly exercise power in areas where states have failed — rarely accomplish their intended results.  In the current issue of Governance, David Lake and Christopher Fariss explain why.  They examine the impact of imposed peacekeeping missions authorized by the United Nations since 1991 and find that these missions frequently fail to produce states with greater capacity.  Moreover international trusteeship has “no discernable effect” on the provision of critical public services.  These interventions fail for two reasons: lack of support from local elites, and lack of long-term commitment on the part of interveners.  Read the article.

Written by governancejournal

October 17, 2014 at 6:03 am

Posted in Current issue

Monkey Cage profiles current issue of Governance

The Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage blog features a discussion of the current issue of Governance.  Stephen Krasner and Thomas Risse explain that this special issue challenges the conventional wisdom that connects “failed states with utter governance breakdown.”  More common are “areas of limited statehood,” in which key services may still be provided under certain circumstances.  Krasner and Risse explain that the special issue identifies the three key factors that will determine when service provision is likely to succeed. Read the article on Monkey Cage.

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October 10, 2014 at 6:03 am

Posted in Current issue

Book reviews: financial management, public participation

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.

Written by governancejournal

September 20, 2014 at 11:15 am

Measuring state capabilities: It’s all settled, then.

Just joking.  In the current issue of Governance, Robert Rotberg argues against the idea that we can gauge the quality of governance without looking at actual effectiveness in service delivery.  Read the research note.  And Craig Boardman agrees, showing how it is possible to assess policy outcomes in “national mission areas.”  Read the research note.

Written by governancejournal

September 15, 2014 at 11:14 am

Posted in Current issue

Policy bubbles: How they grow and why they matter

“One of the most common mistakes” in policymaking “revolves around using the popularity of a policy as an indirect measure of its worth,” Moshe Maor says in the current issue of Governance.  This can encourage herd behavior and the growth of “policy bubbles” — a policy overreaction that builds over time, until it eventually bursts.  Maor develops the concept and explains how it challenges ideas about the rationality of policymaking.  Read the article.  Maor also discusses his article in a recent post on London School of Economics’ British Politics and Policy blog.

Written by governancejournal

September 10, 2014 at 11:13 am

Posted in Current issue

How governments use control signals to manage immigration tensions

Offshore detention center on Australia's Christmas Island
Detention center, Christmas Island

In many countries, there is widespread public pressure for tighter immigration controls.  But key constituencies also want more liberal rules for certain kinds of immigrants, like skilled workers.  In the current issue of Governance, Chris Wright examines how Australia’s government manages this conflict.  It uses “control signals to draw attention to their successful efforts at controlling unwanted forms of immigration,” Wright says.  “This proved to be a critical factor in its later success in permitting entry to large numbers of skilled workers.”  Read the article.

Written by governancejournal

September 1, 2014 at 11:11 am

Posted in Current issue

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