The GOVERNANCE blog

Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

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Democracy promotion: “Politically engaged best practice”

Critics of donor-funded democracy promotion projects complain that they are naive attempts to replicate the practices of developed countries.  David Guinn and Jeffrey Straussman say that the reality is more complicated.  They describe a more nuanced approach to democracy promotion, which they call “politically engaged best practice,” and show how it can be applied to the task of legislative strengthening in developing countries.  Politically engaged programming still recognizes that there are best practices, but allows room for development agencies and implementers to consider how practices should be adjusted to fit “social and cultural systems.”  Read the article.

Written by Governance

March 15, 2017 at 7:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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

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

How government and business respond to protest

In the current issue of Governance, Sharon Gilad, Saar Alon-Barkat, and Alexandr Braverman say that “public administration scholarship has devoted limited attention to the responses of public organizations” to social protests.  They examine how Israeli public agencies and businesses responded to social protests in 2011.  They find that public organizations were “more likely to perceive social upheaval as an opportunity for reputation enhancement and for expansion of resources and jurisdiction,” and increased their spending on public communications in response to the protests.  Businesses, by contrast, “perceive social activism as costly” and were “inclined to keep a low profile to avoid being targeted.”  Read the article.

Written by Governance

July 26, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

New ranking: #2 in PA, #5 in PS

Journal Citation Reports released its ranking data for 2015 on June 13.  Governance has moved to #2 ranking in the field of Public Administration, and #5 ranking in Political Science.  It is the only journal ranked in the top five in both fields.  Its 2014 ranking was #4 in Public Administration and #10 in Political Science.

Written by Governance

June 13, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Why Europe’s farms are thickly layered with policy

The study of policy reform has tended to focus on single-stage reforms taking place over a relatively short period — and suggested that such reforms often do not endure. Carsten Daugbjerg and Alan Swinbank take a long view of Europe’s Common Agriculture Policy and reach a different conclusion.  An accretion of layers “may create sustainability dynamics that can result in lasting reform trajectories.”  Read the article.

Written by Governance

June 10, 2016 at 7:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized