The GOVERNANCE blog

Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

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.

Written by Governance

February 10, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Posted in commentary

New editorial team for Governance

The SOG executive is pleased to announce the selection of a new editorial team for Governance.  The new co-editors are Professors Adam Sheingate of Johns Hopkins University and Éric Montpetit of the Université de Montréal.  The new team will take over on January 1, 2018.

Written by Governance

February 7, 2017 at 9:55 am

Posted in editors

How relying on elites causes peacebuilding failures

The international community invests enormous resources in peacebuilding but sees modest results.  “It is the underlying theory of peacebuilding that is at fault,” Naazneen Barma writes in a commentary in the current issue of Governance.   The usual process of “institutional engineering” to promote statebuildingand democratization “becomes captured by elites, who co-opt interventions to achieve their own political objectives.”  Barma urges “A more clear-eyed and experimental approach to peacebuilding,” that recognizes elite priorities and finds new ways of broadening political space.  Read the commentary.

Written by Governance

February 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Posted in Current issue

Thirty years of Governance

Reagan and Gorbachev in Red Square, March 1988

This month marks the publication of volume 30 of Governance.  In a commentary in the current issue, Colin Campbell and Guy Peters reflect on the launch of the journal in 1988. “The major journals in policy and administration were much less internationalized than they are now,” Campbell and Peters write.  There was “a need for a journal that would address public policy and administration in a comparative manner.”   Read the commentary.

According to the most recent data provided by Journal Citation Reports, Governance is ranked #2 by impact factor in Public Administration, and #5 in Political Science.  It is the only journal in the world that is ranked in the top five in both fields.  This newsletter is delivered to over five thousand academics and professionals around the world.

Written by Governance

January 1, 2017 at 11:21 am

Posted in 30th anniversary

State capacity first, then democracy

It is widely agreed that the states that are most capable of promoting development are “constrained Leviathans.”  But there is debate about sequencing: does it matter whether states acquire state capacity before or after democratization?  In a new article forGovernanceMichelle D’Arcy and Marina Nistotskaya argue that “democratizing after the state has acquired high levels of state capacity leads to a more efficient social order.”  They use a novel indicator of historical state capacity — cadastral records — in their analysis.  States that developed extensive capacities before democratization appear to be less corrupt and better at providing essential public goods today. Read the article.

Written by Governance

December 15, 2016 at 11:46 am

Posted in New articles

Why extravagance in Chinese government persists

“No government in the world has ever conducted so many political campaigns against official extravagance as the Chinese government,” Ting Gong and Hanyu Xiao write in a new article for Governance.  But the problem of lavish spending on dining and drinking, lodging and transport by local government officials persists.  To understand why, the authors conducted 65 in-depth interviews with officials in major Chinese cities.  Their study reveals the “intricate weave of interinstitutional and interpersonal” pressures that shape the behavior of local officials.  The findings help to explain the roots of persistent corruption “in societies where corruption is not only a fact of life but a way of living.”  Read the article.

Written by Governance

December 12, 2016 at 11:45 am

Posted in New articles