The GOVERNANCE blog

Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Archive for the ‘commentary’ Category

Preserving transparency in Trump’s America

Transparency’s rise as an administrative norm over the past few decades has seemed unstoppable.  But what will happen in the era of Trump?  Mark Fenster explores this question in a new commentary for Governance.  He distinguishes between two conceptions of transparency — technocratic and populist.  Trump seems likely to resist the first conception while embracing the second.  Transparency advocates, who have grown accustomed to thinking about openness in technocratic terms, will have to develop new ways of talking about the subject.  They should “deploy the moral and populist understanding of transparency” that is preferred by Trump himself, to defend the laws and regulations that have been put in place to assure openness. Free access to the commentary.

Written by Governance

February 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm

Posted in commentary

How can scholars defend the open society?

“The tenor of political rhetoric” is a key indicator of the health of a society’s underlying norms, Julia Buxton argues in a new commentary for Governance.  And today that indicator shows that we are in a time of “norm regress: an unraveling of the shift in public attitudes over many decades that has made human rights a lived expectation and bigotry and hatred an anathema.”  Buxton argues that it is time for academics to think more carefully about their obligations as cherished norms decay.  “How, as citizens and moral agents as well as intellectuals, shall we defend and further the ideals of an open society?”  Free access to the commentary.

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February 10, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Posted in commentary

Why voters sometimes prefer criminals as candidates

“In democracies around the world,” Milan Vaishnav writes in the current issue of Governance, “candidates who stand accused or convicted of criminal conduct routinely win elections.”  In his commentary, Vaishnav explains why.  He challenges the conventional wisdom that voters are just uninformed.  Looking at experience in India, Vaishnav suggests that under some circumstances, “politicians can use their criminality to signal their credibility when it comes to protecting the interest of voters in their constituencies.”  Free access to the commentary.

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October 24, 2016 at 2:50 pm

Posted in commentary

Commentary: Escaping the trap of systemic corruption

Why isn’t the “anti-corruption industry” more effective?  In a commentary for Governance, David Arellano-Gault says the problem is “the failure to fully acknowledge the organizational role played by corruption in many societies. When a society experiences systemic corruption, it has built a solid, effective social trap.”  He argues that the usual prescriptions of anti-corruption advocates are not enough to break “a socially and culturally sustained vicious circle.”  Free access to the commentary. David Arellano-Gault is a Professor of Public Administration at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico City.

Written by Governance

October 7, 2016 at 8:32 am

Posted in commentary

Right to Know Day: materials for the classroom

September 28 is International Right to Know Day.  Mark the day by watching this debate between Charles Lewis and Bruce Cain on the question, “Is American government too open?”  The video is accompanied by commentaries from Governance arguing both sides of the question.  It is well suited for classroom use.

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September 9, 2016 at 8:34 am

Posted in commentary

Peters and Campbell on founding of Governance

2017 will mark the thirtieth year of publication for Governance.  In a new commentary, B. Guy Peters and Colin Campbellrecall how the journal was established by IPSA’s Research Committee on the Structure and Organization of Government.  “The first several years were challenging,” say Peters and Campbell, “but we are pleased that after thirty years of hard work,Governance has become one of the leading journals in public administration and policy.” Read the commentary.

Written by Governance

June 23, 2016 at 4:42 pm

Does the US president need Congress’s approval to go to war? Commentaries and video

John Yoo at March 16 debate
Does the U.S. President need Congress’s approval to go to war?  John Yoo and Alberto Coll debate the question in new commentaries for Governance.  “As a matter of law, never,” says Yoo. “The Constitution creates a presidency that can respond forcefully to prevent serious threats to our national security without waiting for congressional approval.”Free access to Yoo’s commentary.  But Coll disagrees profoundly. “The historical record is clear: Only the U.S. Congress has the right to initiate major conflicts.”  Free access to Coll’s commentary.  Yoo and Coll debated in person at the University of Missouri on March 16.  Watch video of the debate here.

Written by Governance

April 27, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Posted in commentary