Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

A note from Yemen: Governance on the edge

Clay Wescott, Governance‘s Book Review Editor, was in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, from January 17 to 24.  The Yemeni government led by President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi resigned on January 22.  Here, Clay provides a short note about his visit.

I arrived in Sana’a, Yemen on Saturday, January 17th, to begin a week of support to the Ministry of the Civil Services and Insurance in the early implementation of human resources management and payroll reforms. The work was to include advice on developing a change management strategy, drawing on international experience, and incorporating this strategy into a work plan for 2015.

I had known that this work would be different from other assignments as I was required to spend six hours taking two online security courses, learning what to do in the case of kidnapping, a suicide bomber attack, and other cheerful possibilities. Still, I had worked in places such as Kabul, Dili, and Phnom Penh, and assumed I was ready. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by governancejournal

January 27, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Posted in Blog comments

Book reviews: The failings of democracy, and public-private partnerships

In the current issue of Governance, Alasdair Roberts reviews Breaking Democracy’s Spell by John Dunn.  Dunn renders “a harsh judgment on Western democracies . . . But there are reasons to think why it might not be fair.”  Read the review.

And Kai Chen of Zhejang University reviews The Routledge Companion to Public-Private Partnerships, edited by Piet de Vries and Etienne Yehoue.  “This compelling and thought-provoking volume is an excellent addition to the literature on public-private partnerships.”  Read the review.

Written by governancejournal

January 16, 2015 at 9:34 am

Posted in book reviews

New book: Privatized infrastructure in Argentina

Cambridge University Press has just published Foreign and Direct Investment in Argentina: The Politics of Privatized Infrastructure, by SOG member Alison Post, assistant professor of political science at University of California, Berkeley.  José A. Gómez-Ibáñez says that the book is “must-reading for anyone interested in the private provision of infrastructure services.”  Read more about the book.

SOG is the Structure and Organization of Government Research Committee of the International Political Science Association.  It is the academic sponsor of Governance.  The Governance blog and newsletter provides news about new books by SOG members.  Membership includes a subscription to GovernanceJoin SOG here.

Written by governancejournal

January 13, 2015 at 5:56 pm

WaPo: How myth of IMF orthodoxy was dispelled

The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage has published a oped by Cornel Ban and Kevin Gallagher on their forthcoming special issue in Governance, which considers how the International Monetary Fund learned from the Global Financial Crisis. Ban and Gallagher say that the crisis has challenged “the myth of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a global agent of economic orthodoxy.”  Read the Monkey Cage oped.

Written by governancejournal

January 9, 2015 at 9:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

New book by SOG author: Organizing for Coordination

SOG member Per Laegreid is one of the editors of Organizing for Coordination in the Public Sector, just published by Palgrave Macmillan.  Details about the book.  “This important collection is comprised of 20 European case studies; it offers valuable insights into public sector coordination and points to important lessons for devising and implementing new coordination instruments.”

SOG is the IPSA Research Committee on the Structure and Organization of Government.  It is the academic sponsor of GovernanceSOG members can have new books featured in this newsletterJoin SOG for $31 | £23 | €32.

Written by governancejournal

January 5, 2015 at 7:35 pm

Posted in SOG news

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


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