Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

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.

Written by governancejournal

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

International organizations: more flexible than we thought

World Bank Annual Meetings CSO Townhall1

Civil society representatives at World Bank meeting in Istanbul, October 2009

By Daniel Béland and Mitchell A. Orenstein

Much has been written about the role of international organizations in public policy advice. In both public and academic discourse, a central tendency is to depict them as having fixed policy preferences. For instance, both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are typically defined as firm proponents of “neoliberalism” and instruments of US hegemony. In this perspective, such organizations reflect the will of a small set of dominant actors and promote the same basic policy preferences across time and space. This perspective, however, obscures the potential instability of their policy preferences over time. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by governancejournal

December 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Posted in Blog comments

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

Book review: Controlling tobacco around the globe

In the current issue of Governance, Paulette Kurzer of the University of Arizona reviews Global Tobacco Control: Power, Policy, Governance and Transfer by Paul Cairney, Donley Studlar and Hadii Mamudu.  The book examines two topics, Kurzer says: Why did it take governments so long to recognize the health consequences of smoking?  And why did policy action vary if the problem is the same across the globe?  The book “is a superb examination of an important question . . . [A] first-rate account of tobacco control that will be a standard text for years to come.”  Read the review.

Written by governancejournal

December 5, 2014 at 7:34 am

Posted in book reviews

Talking about Governance

On the World Bank’s CommGAP blog, Sina Odugbemi discusses Governance’s special issue on limited statehood.  “It is an excellent issue of the journal and worth reading,” says Odugdemi.

On the Global Integrity blog, Alan Hudson references Matt Andrews’ 2010 Governance article in a discussion about the need to move “beyond the ‘good governance mantra.'”

In a paper on deliberative negotiation, Mark Warren and Jane Mansbridge draw on Governance articles about transparency by Jenny De Fine Licht et al and Monika Bauhr and Marcia Grimes.

And the World Bank’s iChallenge workshop, held in Paris on October 29-30, says that Francis Fukuyama’s 2013 commentary in Governance has “spurred the debate” about how to measure the effectiveness of public institutions.

Written by governancejournal

November 25, 2014 at 7:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized


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