Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Archive for the ‘Current issue’ Category

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.

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December 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Posted in Current issue

How ‘delegation deals’ build state capacity

In the current issue of Governance, Aila Matanock of the University of California, Berkeley asks whether governance delegation agreements — international treaties by which states cede legal authority to external actors for fixed terms — can be effective in statebuilding.  The answer, she concludes, is yes, largely because these “delegation deals” have domestic support from a ruling coalition.  Matanock draws on statistical analysis of United Nations missions as well as discussion of specific cases, including the Australia-led mission to the Solomon Islands undertaken in 2003, a “canonical case of full governance delegation” that “succeeded in restoring the rule of law and strengthening governance.”  Read the article.  The article is part of a special issue on governance in areas of limited statehood edited by Thomas Risse and Stephen Krasner.

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November 22, 2014 at 7:31 am

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.

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November 5, 2014 at 11:15 am

How multinational corporations help in areas of limited statehood

  We don’t ordinarily think of multinational corporations as providers of collective services in areas of limited statehood.  But Jana Hönke and Christian Thauer report in the current issue of Governance that this isn’t always the case.  They examine multinationals in the South African car industry that help with the fight against HIV/AIDS and mining firms in South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congro that are trying to improve public security.  Two factors are critical to the success of such initiatives.  They must have validation from domestic authorities.  And they must be highly institutionalized.  Read the article.

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October 30, 2014 at 6:05 am

Posted in Current issue

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.

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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.

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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.

Written by governancejournal

October 10, 2014 at 6:03 am

Posted in Current issue


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