Archive for the ‘Current issue’ Category
Walter Eucken, a founder of ordoliberalism
The ideas of ordoliberalism, first developed in Germany in the mid-twentieth century, have had a marked revival since the Global Financial Crisis, write Mathias Siems and Gerhard Schnyder in the current issue of Governance. Commentators from both left and right say that more regulation on ordoliberal principles is needed. But there is confusion about what ordoliberalism really requires. Siems and Schnyder clarify the core ideas and show how ordoliberalism can “form the basis for a sounder conception of economic regulation” in the wake of the crisis. Read the article.
Some academic studies say that Islamists are effective at providing social services for women, while others contend that Islamic groups “support pro-male policies that disadvantage the well-being of women.” In the current issue of Governance, Lisa Blaydes examines the effects of Islamist rule in neighbourhoods of Greater Cairo. “Women subject to governance by the Islamic group enjoyed better outcomes in reproductive health” than in comparable neighborhoods ruled by strongmen, Blaydes concludes. Read the article.
And Sarah Holsen reviews New Perspectives on Public Services: Places and Technology by Christopher Pollitt. “Pollitt’s goal,” says Holsen, “is to explore how, in the face of technological change, the provision of public services shapes the places in which they are located, how the characteristics of places influences how services are provided, and how the location of government and its services impact the landscape of interaction between government and citizen.” Read the review.
The representation of women in cabinets and legislatures has increased sharply since the 1990s, although it still falls far short of parity with men. What explains the recent shift? In the current issue of Governance, Suraj Jacob, John Scherpereel and Melinda Adams argued that international norms have played an important role. Their study relies on an original global database of cabinet ministers from 1979 to 2009. “A gender-balanced decision-making norm has become embedded in the world polity,” they argue. But the norm still has limits: it is “more likely to generate gains in low-prestige cabinet positions than in high-prestige positions.” Read the article.
Many government policies work only if citizens or corporations comply with their requirements. But what determines whether citizens or corporations will comply? In the current issue of Governance, R. Kent Weaver proposes a better framework for understanding compliance problems, and highlights the difficulties that arise when there is substantial variety within target populations. Weaver applies the framework to Swedish and American case studies that highlight “how variations in barriers and target characteristics affect government responses to perceived policy failures.” Read the article.
The conventional wisdom among government reformers is that transparency is a crucial device for improving accountability and reducing corruption. But the device doesn’t always work. In the current issue of Governance, Monika Bauhr and Marcia Grimes of the University of Gothenburg show that an increase in transparency in highly corrupt countries tends to breed resignation, rather than indignation over corruption. Bauhr and Grimes explain how our understanding of the link between transparency and corruption control “remains more anchored in normative conviction . . . than empirical investigation.” Read the article.
The risk of replacement for top civil servants in Danish central and local government has increased dramatically over the last forty years. But what is driving this change? In the current issue of Governance, Jørgen Gronnegard Christensen, Robert Klemmensen and Niels Opstrup examine four decades of data about senior appointments to determine whether the trend toward increasing politicization found in some western countries also holds for the Danish civil service. They find evidence of “functional politicization”: a practice of replacing career civil servants who do not meet the demands of political executives with other career civil servants. Read the article.