Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Archive for December 2010

Book reviews: French administrative reforms, developing countries and trade, conceptions of community and identity

In the current issue of Governance (24.4, October 2010), Julie Gervais says that Phillipe Bezes‘ new book Réinventer l’Etat: les réformes de l’administration française makes a “significant contribution to French academic literature on public administration,” showing how change happens “discreetly and slowly,” but with an eventually profound effect on administration.  Read the reviewJohn Whalley of University of Western Ontario says that Chad Brown‘s Self-Enforcing Trade provides “a rich array of evidence” about the use of WTO dispute settlement procedures developing countries, and an “extremely helpful” entry point on this complicated subject. Read the review.  Cara Wong‘s Boundaries of Obligation in American Politics examines how community boundaries are socially constructed in the minds of ordinary Americans.  Yves Laberge says that it is “an important and very special book,” useful in reminding political scientists about the ways in which conceptions of identity shape policy. Read the review.

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December 17, 2010 at 10:20 am

Posted in book reviews

Establishing an autonomous tax agency: Sardinia’s experience

In 2006 the regional government of Sardinia established a new autonomous tax agency.  In the current issue of Governance (24.4, October 2010), Alberto Asquer examines the critical early phase of the new agency’s development, as it sought to consolidate its position despite questions about the constitutionality of the taxes it was charged with collecting.  The new agency carefully cultivated ties with other public bodies, including the regional Treasury department, and sought to diversify its functions to assure its survival even if the constitutional challenges succeeded.  The implementation strategy succeeded in consolidating the agency’s role within regional government.  Read the article.

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December 9, 2010 at 11:09 am

Tax blacklists: the dangers of “policy plagiarism”

Jason SharmanIn the current issue of Governance (24.4, October 2010), Jason Sharman of Griffith University examines the global diffusion of tax haven blacklists, a process which Sharman says has tended to replicate errors because of the thoughtless copying of lists of “usual suspects” from abroad.  In one extreme example, Venezuela replicated the Mexican blacklist, which included Venezuela, and thereby blacklisted itself.  There has been little “learning from abroad” in this area, says Sharman.  Rather, the pressure on stressed policymakers to act decisively in a complex field has led to a process of dysfunctional “policy plagiarism.”  Read the article.

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December 3, 2010 at 10:35 am

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