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Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Archive for the ‘book reviews’ Category

Book reviews: Do-it-yourself democracy, smarter states

 

In the current issue of GovernanceRobert Chaskin reviews Do-It-Yourself Democracy by Caroline W. Lee.  Lee’s analysis is “unsettling,” Chaskin says, showing how deliberative processes can be designed “in ways that legitimize cost cutting and retrenchment and that promote participant alignment with state or corporate requirements for austerity.  Read the review.  And Scott Fritzen reviews Smart Citizens, Smarter State by Beth Simone Noveck.  The book “makes an impassioned plea for ‘reinventing government’ in the twenty-first century.”  Fritzen says that Noveck’s analysis is “nuanced, grounded in historical analysis, practical experience in government, multiple disciplines and a close reading of democratic and institutional theory.”  Read the review.

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April 25, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Book reviews: Hive minds, US foreign policy, Indian cities

In the current issue of Governance, Fred Thompson reviewsHive Mind by Garett Jones.  “Jones sets out to explain why higher cognitive ability scores are so much more important for collectivities than for individuals.”  It might be the year’s most important economics book, says Thompson.  Read the review.
Oliver Stuenkel reviews Sailing the Water’s Edge: The Domestic Politics of American Foreign Policy by Helen Milnerand Dustin Tingley.  The book shows how “the president’s ability to obtain his desired foreign policy depends on negotiations with Congress, as well as public opinion and interest group support.  This matters far more than mainstream IR literature recognizes.”  This is an important contribution to the debate about US foreign policy, Stuenkel says.  Read the review.
And Tanu Kumar reviews Contesting the Indian City, edited by Gavin Shatkin.  Each chapter “is carefully researched and paints a vivid picture of life and politics in an Indian city.”  But the broader theoretical contributions “remain unclear” Read the review.

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November 27, 2016 at 7:52 pm

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Book reviews: The politics of information, horizontal management

In the current issue of Governance, Jacob Hacker reviews The Politics of Information by Frank Baumgartner and Bryan Jones.  “It is a formidable achievement,” says Hacker.  “Baumgartner and Jones cast governance as a problem of information: getting it (or restricting it), ensuring that it is reliable (which sometimes means reliably consistent with one’s priors), and acting on it.”  Read the review.

 

And Jale Tosun reviews Pursing Horizontal Management by B. Guy Peters.  Peters “focuses on how governments deal with specialization and coordination,” Tosun says.  The book “moves away from structure-based approaches to public sector coordination and governance” by taking into account “the attitudes of participants in the coordination process.”  Read the review.

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October 17, 2016 at 8:34 am

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Book reviews: Blood oil, China’s civil service

In the current issue of Governance, Frank Vogl reviews Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World by Leif Wenar.  Vogl says that the book “builds a compelling case for a trade boycott on oil, gas, gold, and other mineral exports from some 30 nations run by corrupt regimes.”  Read the review.

 

And Lina Vyas reviews Governing Civil Service Pay in China byAlfred M. Wu.   Wu “offers an incisive examination of how the government has attempted to shape a contemporary civil service system that in turn would improve state capacity and government legitimacy,” Vyas says.  Read the review.

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September 15, 2016 at 5:59 pm

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Understanding Europe’s refugee crisis

In the current issue of Governance, Mahama Tawat draws on two books on immigration — Frontiers of Fear by Ariane Chebel d’Appolonia and Survival Immigration by Alexander Betts — to examine Europe’s refugee crisis.  The recent surge of refugees into Europe “has triggered events whose historical parallel can only be found in the early hours of World War II,” Tawat says. Drawing on Francis Fukuyama’s 2013 contribution toGovernance, Tawat considers how shortfalls in state capacity have intensified the crisis.   Read the review.

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July 15, 2016 at 4:45 pm

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Book reviews: Challenging modernization theory, reviving Follett

In the current issue of Governance, Yi Feng reviews Dynamics Among Nations: The Evolution of Legitimacy and Development in Modern States by Hilton Root.  Root “challenges a major paradigm that has guided research in political and economic development: modernization theory.”  Read the review.

And Edoardo Ongaro reviews  Integrative Process: Follettian Thinking From Ontology to Administration by Margaret Stout and Jeannine Love.  “This book is a manifesto for the relaunch of Follettian thinking . . . A valuable effort to place it firmly on the public governance and administration agenda.”  Read the review.

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June 20, 2016 at 7:07 pm

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Book reviews: Corruption in India, China’s hunt for resources, public participation in the EU

In the current issue of Governance, Sean Yiath reviews The Hungry Dragon: How China’s Resources Quest is Reshaping the World, by Sigfrido Burgos Cáceres and Sophal Ear.    The book “exposes the leverage China holds over source countries and reveals the cleavages in domestic and international relations among the key players.”  Free access to the review.

Alvin Almendrala Camba reviews Participatory Governance in the European Union by Karl-Oskar Lindgren and Thomas Persson.  “Despite its limitations, this is a fresh and timely contribution to the governance literature.”  Free access to the review.

And Nafis Hasan of Azim Premji University reviews Corruption and Reform in India by Jennifer Bussell.   The book is a “bold attempt to identify the reasons for the difference in quality” of computerized service centers that were supposed to reduce corruption in Indian state governments.  Free access to the review.

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February 16, 2015 at 7:15 am

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