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Steering from the Centre

Steering from the Centre Author Carl Dahlström
ISBN-10 9781442610699
Release 2011
Pages 279
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Governments face new challenges in an era marked by globalization, shifting economic and national security policies, pervasive electronic media, and policy reform. Steering from the Centre details how chief executives in ten Western democracies have responded to governance challenges in the wake of reform ideas such as the New Public Management which stress deregulation and decentralization. This volume analyzes the extent to which the centre of government can retain political and administrative control when delivery of public services is increasingly done through networks, contacts, partnerships, and a host of other devolved arrangements. International in scope, Steering from the Centre covers the experiences of diverse countries and examines how various centralization/decentralization strategies have played out in these differing national and institutional contexts.

Policy Capacity and Governance

Policy Capacity and Governance Author Xun Wu
ISBN-10 9783319546759
Release 2017-09-29
Pages 445
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This book provides unique insights into the role of policy capacity in policymaking and policy change, as it is being uncovered at the research frontier in contemporary policy studies. The book is structured into a series of sections on policy capacity in theory and practice, each focusing on a specific aspect of policy capacity and its influence on policy formulation, decision-making, implementation and evaluation. In addition to making a significant contribution to the body of literature on the theoretical approaches to researching the role of capacity in policymaking, it also provides practical examples of the application of these approaches through a variety of national and sectoral case studies. Including contributions from authors working in a wide variety of disciplines, the book demonstrates, across the various topics investigated, many commonalities and consistencies in relation to the study of policy capacity and policy-making. This work has interdisciplinary appeal and will engage scholars in fields ranging from geography to communications, health, social work and political science, amongst others with an interest in public policy.

The Blind Spots of Public Bureaucracy and the Politics of Non Coordination

The Blind Spots of Public Bureaucracy and the Politics of Non   Coordination Author Tobias Bach
ISBN-10 9783319766720
Release 2018-05-29
Pages 269
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How to better coordinate policies and public services across public sector organizations has been a major topic of public administration research for decades. However, few attempts have been made to connect these concerns with the growing body of research on biases and blind spots in decision-making. This book attempts to make that connection. It explores how day-to-day decision-making in public sector organizations is subject to different types of organizational attention biases that may lead to a variety of coordination problems in and between organizations, and sometimes also to major blunders and disasters. The contributions address those biases and their effects for various types of public organizations in different policy sectors and national contexts. In particular, it elaborates on blind spots, or ‘not seeing the not seeing’, and different forms of bureaucratic politics as theoretical explanations for seemingly irrational organizational behaviour. The book’s theoretical tools and empirical insights address conditions for effective coordination and problem-solving by public bureaucracies using an organizational perspective.

New Policies for New Residents

New Policies for New Residents Author Deborah J. Milly
ISBN-10 9780801470783
Release 2014-02-18
Pages 280
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In recent decades, many countries have experienced both a rapid increase of in-migration of foreign nationals and a large-scale devolution of governance to the local level. The result has been new government policies to promote the social inclusion of recently arrived residents. In New Policies for New Residents, Deborah J. Milly focuses on the intersection of these trends in Japan. Despite the country's history of restrictive immigration policies, some Japanese favor a more accepting approach to immigrants. Policies supportive of foreign residents could help attract immigrants as the country adjusts to labor market conditions and a looming demographic crisis. As well, local citizen engagement is producing more inclusive approaches to community. Milly compares the policy discussions and outcomes in Japan with those in South Korea and in two similarly challenged Mediterranean nations, Italy and Spain. All four are recent countries of immigration, and all undertook major policy innovations for immigrants by the 2000s. In Japan and Spain, local NGO-local government collaboration has influenced national policy through the advocacy of local governments. South Korea and Italy included NGO advocates as policy actors and partners at the national level far earlier as they responded to new immigration, producing policy changes that fueled local networks of governance and advocacy. In all these cases, Milly finds, nongovernmental advocacy groups have the power to shape local governance and affect national policy, though in different way.

Comparative Governance

Comparative Governance Author B. Guy Peters
ISBN-10 9781107163799
Release 2016-08-31
Pages 244
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Proposes a new, advanced theory of governance, emphasizing the interactions of the state with other actors.

Democracy for Realists

Democracy for Realists Author Christopher H. Achen
ISBN-10 9781400888740
Release 2017-08-29
Pages 408
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Democracy for Realists assails the romantic folk-theory at the heart of contemporary thinking about democratic politics and government, and offers a provocative alternative view grounded in the actual human nature of democratic citizens. Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels deploy a wealth of social-scientific evidence, including ingenious original analyses of topics ranging from abortion politics and budget deficits to the Great Depression and shark attacks, to show that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is fundamentally misguided. They demonstrate that voters—even those who are well informed and politically engaged—mostly choose parties and candidates on the basis of social identities and partisan loyalties, not political issues. They also show that voters adjust their policy views and even their perceptions of basic matters of fact to match those loyalties. When parties are roughly evenly matched, elections often turn on irrelevant or misleading considerations such as economic spurts or downturns beyond the incumbents' control; the outcomes are essentially random. Thus, voters do not control the course of public policy, even indirectly. Achen and Bartels argue that democratic theory needs to be founded on identity groups and political parties, not on the preferences of individual voters. Now with new analysis of the 2016 elections, Democracy for Realists provides a powerful challenge to conventional thinking, pointing the way toward a fundamentally different understanding of the realities and potential of democratic government.

Populism and the Mirror of Democracy

Populism and the Mirror of Democracy Author Francisco Panizza
ISBN-10 1859845231
Release 2005
Pages 358
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Populism raises awkward questions about modern forms of democracy. It often represents the ugly face of the people. It is neither the highest form of democracy nor its enemy. It is, rather, a mirror in which democracy may contemplate itself, warts and all, in a discovery of itself and what it lacks.This definitive collection, edited by one of the worlds pre-eminent authorities on populism, Francisco Panizza, combines theoretical essays with a number of specially commissioned case studies on populist politics in the US, Britain, Canada, Western Europe, Palestine, Latin America and South Africa. A broadly shared understanding of the nature of populism gives the book a coherence rarely found in collective works and enhances the richness of the case studies.

Development First Democracy Later

Development First  Democracy Later Author Anna Lekvall
ISBN-10 9186565990
Release 2014-03-06
Pages 150
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This book explores how politics and democracy play out in reality in Africa as the major aid-receiving continent. It points to the seriously challenged political situations found in aid-recipient countries. Moreover, it looks at the Paris Agenda aid modalities from a democracy perspective. It illustrates the on-and-off relationship with democracy concerns in the aid system. In addition, the book points to the challenges of aid, which are too often based on a wrongful assumption that development comes first and democracy only (hopefully) later. The book brings into question the fundamental construction of the aid system and the values that drive it. While making a push for seeing the value of democracy on its own merits, as well as its advantages for development, the book poses some serious questions about the way the aid system is built and argues for substantive changes in the aid landscape. Issues raised are relevant for many discussions -- from China as a development model, to the entire aid system -- and not least for the debate on the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals. This is an outspoken, insiders account. It aspires to be broadly accessible and engaging and to provoke debate on an issue which is still, remarkably, swept under the carpet. The critique is substantiated with facts and research, but also illustrated with situations taken from real life in Africa and international aid discussions.

Good Government

Good Government Author Sören Holmberg
ISBN-10 9780857934932
Release 2012-01-01
Pages 368
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'Everyone wants good government, but how do we know when we have it? The path-breaking Quality of Government Institute cuts through the tiresome ideological debate with theoretically grounded empirical analyses of the components, measures, and outcomes of good government. The book's contributors demonstrate the relevance of political science, and they do so with arguments and evidence that should improve policy and, ultimately, peoples' lives.' – Margaret Levi, University of Washington, US 'All too often today research in political science is irrelevant and uninspiring, shying away from the "big" questions that actually matter in people's lives. Good Government shows that this does not have to be the case. Tackling some of the "biggest" questions of the contemporary era – What is good government? Where does it come from? How can it be measured and how does it matter? – this book will prove invaluable to academics and policy makes alike.' – Sheri Berman, Barnard College, US 'What is "Good Government?" Few doubt that it is better to have a "good government" than a "bad" one, but few of us have thought carefully about what makes for good government vs. bad. Sören Holmberg and Bo Rothstein's excellent volume helps fill in this gap. Though the book is more than this, the focus on corruption is particularly fascinating. We know that corruption is "bad" but where does it come from? Why are some legislatures more corrupt than others? Why does the media sometimes collude? Why are women less easily corrupted than men? These are just a few of the many fascinating questions this volume explores. By bridging democratic theory, public policy and institutional analysis, it is one of the first to give us some practical insight into the obviously important question: what makes some governments "better" than others?' – Sven Steinmo, European University Institute, Italy In all societies, the quality of government institutions is of the utmost importance for the well-being of its citizens. Problems like high infant mortality, lack of access to safe water, unhappiness and poverty are not primarily caused by a lack of technical equipment, effective medicines or other types of knowledge generated by the natural or engineering sciences. Instead, the critical problem is that the majority of the world's population live in societies that have dysfunctional government institutions. Central issues discussed in the book include: how can good government be conceptualized and measured, what are the effects of 'bad government' and how can the quality of government be improved? Good Government will prove invaluable for students in political science, public policy and public administration. Researchers in political science and the social sciences, as well as policy analysts working in government, international and independent policy organizations will also find plenty to interest them in this resourceful compendium.

Democracy Incorporated

Democracy Incorporated Author Sheldon S. Wolin
ISBN-10 9781400888405
Release 2017-09-05
Pages 376
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Democracy is struggling in America--by now this statement is almost cliché. But what if the country is no longer a democracy at all? In Democracy Incorporated, Sheldon Wolin considers the unthinkable: has America unwittingly morphed into a new and strange kind of political hybrid, one where economic and state powers are conjoined and virtually unbridled? Can the nation check its descent into what the author terms "inverted totalitarianism"? Wolin portrays a country where citizens are politically uninterested and submissive--and where elites are eager to keep them that way. At best the nation has become a "managed democracy" where the public is shepherded, not sovereign. At worst it is a place where corporate power no longer answers to state controls. Wolin makes clear that today's America is in no way morally or politically comparable to totalitarian states like Nazi Germany, yet he warns that unchecked economic power risks verging on total power and has its own unnerving pathologies. Wolin examines the myths and mythmaking that justify today's politics, the quest for an ever-expanding economy, and the perverse attractions of an endless war on terror. He argues passionately that democracy's best hope lies in citizens themselves learning anew to exercise power at the local level. Democracy Incorporated is one of the most worrying diagnoses of America's political ills to emerge in decades. It is sure to be a lightning rod for political debate for years to come. Now with a new introduction by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Chris Hedges, Democracy Incorporated remains an essential work for understanding the state of democracy in America.

Democracy in the Age of Globalization and Mediatization

Democracy in the Age of Globalization and Mediatization Author H. Kriesi
ISBN-10 9781137299871
Release 2013-01-11
Pages 250
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This book provides comprehensive coverage of the models of contemporary democracy; its social, cultural, economic and political prerequisites; its empirically existing varieties and its two major challenges - globalization and mediatization. The book also covers the global spread of democracy and its spread into supranational democracies.

Ideologues Partisans and Loyalists

Ideologues  Partisans  and Loyalists Author Despina Alexiadou
ISBN-10 9780198755715
Release 2016-03-17
Pages 288
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For the past thirty years scholars have debated the role of political parties in fiscal, monetary, and social welfare policies. Some argue that Social Democratic parties are more committed to advancing and maintaining welfare protection, while others claim that party ideology has ceased to explain parties' policy choices due to the constraining forces of economic globalization, deindustrialization, and electoral volatility. Indeed, the empirical findings in support of partisan arguments are mixed. Much of this rich literature treats political parties as uniform and cohesive entities when it comes to forming government policy. Ideologues, Partisans, and Loyalists challenges this assumption and advances the argument that ideology and partisan policy preferences play a major role in policy choices, yet they are not necessarily observable at the government or even at the party level. Instead, we often need to look at the individual level -- particularly at the cabinet minister who is in charge of the policy in question to predict policy outcomes. Ideologues, Partisans, and Loyalists innovatively argues that cabinet ministers can have very important policy role as policy agenda setters. Yet, not all ministers are equally effective policy-makers. Some make a difference, while others do not. Loyalists are loyal to their party leader and prioritize office over policy; partisans are party heavyweights and aspiring leaders; and ideologues have fixed policy ideas and are unwilling to compromise for the perks of holding office. Only ideologues and partisans can effectively change social welfare and labour market policy, above and beyond what their government mandates.

Organizing Leviathan

Organizing Leviathan Author Carl Dahlström
ISBN-10 9781316828762
Release 2017-06-21
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Why are some countries less corrupt and better governed than others? Challenging conventional explanations on the remarkable differences in quality of government worldwide, this book argues that the organization of bureaucracy is an often overlooked but critical factor. Countries where merit-recruited employees occupy public bureaucracies perform better than those where public employees owe their post to political connections. The book provides a coherent theory of why, and ample evidence showing that meritocratic bureaucracies are conducive to lower levels of corruption, higher government effectiveness, and more flexibility to adopt modernizing reforms. Data comes from both a novel dataset on the bureaucratic structures of over 100 countries as well as from narratives of particular countries, with a special focus on the relationship between politicians and bureaucrats in Spain and Sweden. A notable contribution to the literature in comparative politics and public policy on good governance, and to corruption studies more widely.

Policing Protest

Policing Protest Author Donatella Della Porta
ISBN-10 1452903336
Release 1998
Pages 302
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The first international examination of how police respond to political protests. The way in which police handle political demonstrations is always potentially controversial. In contemporary democracies, police departments have two different, often conflicting aims: keeping the peace and defending citizens' right to protest. This collection, the only resource to examine police interventions cross-nationally, analyzes a wide array of policing styles. Focusing on Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, Spain, the United States, and South Africa, the contributors look at cultures and political power to examine the methods and the consequences of policing protest.

The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere

The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere Author J?rgen Habermas
ISBN-10 9780745692333
Release 2015-01-06
Pages 328
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This major work retraces the emergence and development of the Bourgeois public sphere - that is, a sphere which was distinct from the state and in which citizens could discuss issues of general interest. In analysing the historical transformations of this sphere, Habermas recovers a concept which is of crucial significance for current debates in social and political theory. Habermas focuses on the liberal notion of the bourgeois public sphere as it emerged in Europe in the early modern period. He examines both the writings of political theorists, including Marx, Mill and de Tocqueville, and the specific institutions and social forms in which the public sphere was realized. This brilliant and influential work has been widely recognized for many years as a classic of contemporary social and political thought, of interest to students and scholars throughout the social sciences and humanities.

Reform Capacity

Reform Capacity Author Johannes Lindvall
ISBN-10 9780198766865
Release 2017-07
Pages 224
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It is often said that effective government requires a concentration of power. If we want our political leaders to adjust public policies to changing economic, social, and political circumstances, we should, in this view, leave our leaders alone: we should put in place electoral procedures that identify a clear winner in each election, and then we should let the winning political party govern without having to cooperate with others. The argument of this book is that this view is mistaken, since it seriously underestimates the ability of political decision makers to overcome democratic paralysis by compensating losers (groups that stand to lose from a reform). Reform capacity - the ability of political decision makers to adopt and implement policy changes that benefit society as a whole - can therefore be achieved in both power-concentration systems (which enable governments to ignore losers) and power-sharing systems (where governments build support for reform by compensating losers). If political decision makers are able to solve the bargaining problems that sometimes complicate negotiations between winners and losers, power-sharing systems have certain advantages over power-concentration systems. The book argues that power sharing can lead to high reform capacity in societies where interest groups are powerful enough to block reforms; the book also argues that power sharing can lead to high reform capacity when reforms have short-term costs and long-term benefits, since power sharing helps to correct some of the short-sightedness that is inherent in democratic policymaking.

Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa

Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa Author Tobias Hagmann
ISBN-10 9781783606313
Release 2016-03-15
Pages 192
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In 2013 almost half of Africa's top aid recipients were ruled by authoritarian regimes. While the West may claim to promote democracy and human rights, in practice major bilateral and international donors, such as USAID, DFID, the World Bank and the European Commission, have seen their aid policies become ever more entangled with the survival of their authoritarian protégés. Local citizens thus find themselves at the receiving end of a compromise between aid agencies and government elites, in which development policies are shaped in the interests of maintaining the status quo. Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa sheds light on the political intricacies and moral dilemmas raised by the relationship between foreign aid and autocratic rule in Africa. Through contributions by leading experts exploring the revival of authoritarian development politics in Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Cameroon, Mozambique and Angola, the book exposes shifting donor interests and rhetoric as well as the impact of foreign aid on military assistance, rural development, electoral processes and domestic politics. In the process, it raises an urgent and too often neglected question: to what extent are foreign aid programmes actually perpetuating authoritarian rule?