Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

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

November 5, 2014 at 11:15 am

Special issue: Has crisis changed the IMF?

A forthcoming special issue of Governance (28.2, April 2015) will consider how the 2008 financial crisis has changed policy and practice within the International Monetary Fund.  The special issue is co-edited by professors Cornel Ban and Kevin Gallagher of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University.

Ban and Gallagher explain the aims of the special issue:

Recently, the IMF has been in the headlines as a critic of austerity, inequality and unrestricted capital movements. This is in stark contrast to its conventional pre-crisis image as rigid international bully imposing draconian policies on countries in trouble.

Cornel Ban and Daniela Gabor, Bristol Business School

Cornel Ban and Daniela Gabor at workshop for special issue at Boston University

In the special issue of Governance, the contributors examine how extensive these changes have been in both theory and in practice and provide explanations of the resulting patterns of stability and change. They find extensive evidence that the Fund has indeed experienced a significant recalibration of its policy advice and supervision since the 2008 crisis and attribute this outcome to staff politics, the rise of the BRICS’s or shifts in the economics profession.

However, not all changes in policy doctrine traveled into the IMF’s policy practice. Moreover, deeper shifts in policy doctrine were largely tempered by the nature of the institution and the powerful interests that control its governing structure. To make these arguments, the contributions examine fiscal policy, sovereign debt policy, structural reforms, capital controls and financial sector stability.

All of the papers in the special issue are now published on Governance EarlyView:

Introduction.  Recalibrating Policy Orthodoxy: The IMF since the Great Recession.

André Broome, Back to Basics: The Great Recession and the Narrowing of IMF Policy Advice

Cornel Ban, Austerity versus Stimulus? Understanding Fiscal Policy Change at the International Monetary Fund Since the Great Recession

Kevin P. Gallagher, Contesting the Governance of Capital Flows at the IMF

Daniela Gabor, The IMF’s Rethink of Global Banks: Critical in Theory, Orthodox in Practice

Aitor Erce, Banking on Seniority: The IMF and the Sovereign’s Creditors

Leonard Seabrooke and Emelie Rebecca Nilsson, Professional Skills in International Financial Surveillance: Assessing Change in IMF Policy Teams

Professors Ban and Gallagher will host a lunch discussion about the special issue on November 20, 2014, 12:30-2:00pm, at The Pardee School for Global Studies, Bay State Rd. 121, Boston.  More details here.  Boston University also profiles the special issue here.

Written by governancejournal

October 31, 2014 at 11:00 am

Posted in Special Issues

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.

Written by governancejournal

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.

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.

Written by governancejournal

October 10, 2014 at 6:03 am

Posted in Current issue

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


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