We are in the midst of a data revolution, Donald Kettl says in a research note in the current issue of Governance. But “we are generating data faster than we are devising strategies for hearing what it tells us and helping policymakers act on it.” Kettl outlines ten reasons why decision makers don’t make best use of the new bounty of data. By grappling with these ten problems, academics can “improve the odds that careful analysis, rather than the noisy background of ordinary knowledge, shapes policy.” Read the research note.
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.
In Westminster systems, senior public servants have traditionally avoided overtly political roles. Some critics have alleged that recent public sector reforms have undermined that tradition of impartiality. In the current issue of Governance,Dennis Grube and Cosmo Howard conclude that fears about the collapse of traditional norms are overstated. Drawing on cases from Canada and Australia, Grube and Howard conclude that “There remains a strong ethical awareness among senior public servants about how far they can legitimately allow themselves to be pushed under a Westminster system.” Read the article. The article is part of a special issue on the future of the Westminster model.
The Westminster model of governance created a “symbiotic partnership” between the ministers responsible for government departments and the career civil servants who ran them, David Richards and Martin J. Smith argue in the current issue ofGovernance. But the advent of New Public Management changed that, introducing new pathologies into British government. “The most crucial pathology,” they say, “is that the deliberative space afforded for critical engagement over public policy has been diminished.” The result? A government that is more vulnerable to serious blunders. Read the article. The article is part of a special issue on the future of the Westminster model.