Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Why the history of frontier states still matters today

Present-day state capacities can be shaped profoundly by historical processes of state formation.  In the current issue ofGovernance, Roberto Stefan Foa and Anna Nemirovskaya examine how the distinctive histories of “frontier states” — like the United States, Canada, Russia and Brazil — influence state capacities today.  “Frontier zones have ongoing lower levels of public order and public goods provision,” the authors find.  They explain why settlers resisted attempts to impose governance over frontier regions, opting instead for lower fiscal capacity and more limited provision of public goods. Read the article.

Written by Governance

August 25, 2016 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Current issue

New books by SOG members

Several SOG members contribute to a new book, Public Administration Reforms in Europe: The View From the Top, just published by Edward Elgar.  Based on a survey of more than 6700 top civil servants in 17 European countries, this book explores the impacts of New Public Management (NPM)-style reforms in Europe.  More about the book.  Steven Van de Walle discusses the book in a short comment here.
If you are a SOG member and have a new book, let us know.  Join SOG here.  The SOG newsletter reaches over five thousand academics and professionals around the world.

Written by Governance

August 22, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Book reviews: Corruption and the right to information

In the current issue of Governance, Carolyn Warner reviews The Quest for Good Governance by Alina Mungiu-Pippidi. “It has yet to occur to the international community that corrupt actors rarely, if ever, reform themselves out of business,” Warner says.  “Mungiu-Pippidi’s work is a significant contribution to our understanding of the subject, and one to which policymakers and international donors should pay attention.”  Read the review.
And Gaia von Hatzfeldt reviews Democracy and Transparency in the Indian State by Sharma Prashant.  India’s 2005 Right to Information Act “is lauded for being both a producer and a product of an empowered and active citizenry,” von Hatzfeldt says.   “Sharma Prashant provocatively and astutely questions this assumed correlation between the RTI and democratic processes.” Read the review.

Written by Governance

August 10, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Call for nominations: 2017 Levine Book Prize

The Levine Book Prize Committee is seeking nominations for the 2017 Levine Prize.  More details here.  The committee is composed of Professor Tobias Bach (University of Oslo), Professor Caspar van den Berg (Leiden University), and Professor Ting Gong (City University of Hong Kong).   Information about previous winners is available here.

Written by Governance

August 10, 2016 at 10:59 am

Posted in Levine Book Prize

Aberbach and Laegreid receive Kloeti award

Jan Meyer-Sahling introduces a SOG panel at IPSA meeting in Poznan, Poland in July
SOG organized several sessions at the IPSA meeting in Poznan, Poland in July.  See the list of sessions.  It was announced that Joel Aberbach and Per Laegreid have been awarded the Ulrich Kloeti award to acknowledge their long service to SOG and the field of governance research. Joel and Per have served SOG for many years, especially in their roles as co-chair and treasurer. There will be a formal award ceremony during the forthcoming SOG workshop in Gothenburg in summer 2017.

Written by Governance

August 2, 2016 at 6:01 pm

Posted in SOG news

Hadden wins Levine Book Prize

The Levine Book Prize for books published in 2015 has been awarded to Jennifer Hadden for her book Networks in Contention: The Divisive Politics of Climate Change.  The prize committee says that the book “makes a contribution of great academic and policy significance” about civil society organizations’ choice of mobilization strategies on climate change.  Read more about the committee’s decision.  Hadden is an assistant professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland.

Written by Governance

August 2, 2016 at 5:58 pm

Posted in Levine Book Prize

Horrible bosses and pathological delegation

Principal-agent theory has established a firm foothold in political science.  But there is a limitation with the way the theory is applied, Mor Sobol argues in the current issue of Governance.  Scholars typically assume that problems arise because the agent is an opportunistic and disloyal actor. But principals can be just as problematic as their agents, Sobol says.  The result may be “pathological delegation”: a pattern of behavior by the principal that makes it harder for the agent to do their job properly.  Sobol uses the case of the European Neighborhood Policy to examine the undesirable effects of pathological delegation.
Read the article.

Written by Governance

August 1, 2016 at 12:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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