The GOVERNANCE blog

Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

New books by SOG members

Donald Kettl’s new book, Escaping Jurassic Government, has just been published by Brookings Institution Press.  Kettl provides an overview of his argument here. “The dinosaurs went extinct because they failed to adapt,” Kettl says. “The crisis in public trust is a modern-day sign of our government’s own struggle to adapt to its changing environment.”
If you are a SOG member and have a new book, contact the editors.  Join SOG here.

Written by Governance

May 27, 2016 at 7:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Does transparency hobble effective governance?

On the World Bank’s CommGAP blog, Sina Odugbemi reflects on the recent debate in the pages of Governanceon the question of whether US government is too open.  “It is a rich and illuminating exchange,” Odugbemi says.  Read his summary of key points from the debate.

Written by Governance

May 20, 2016 at 7:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Eastern Europe retreats from pension privatization

In the 1990s and early 2000s, pension privatization was a worldwide phenomenon.  But several Eastern European countries have scaled back mandatory private retirement accounts and restored the role of public provision since the global financial crisis.  In the current issue of GovernanceMarek Naczyk and Stefan Domonkos explain the reversal, and why some countries have back-pedaled faster than others.  The crisis strengthened the hand of domestic opponents of privatization, Naczyk and Domonkos say.  But the capacity of opponents to cause a change in policy depended on how deeply indebted their country was, as well as the portfolio structure of pension funds.  The authors suggest that their approach could help explain policy trends in other regions as well.  Read the article.

Written by Governance

May 13, 2016 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

What’s wrong with the principal-agent model?

ECB President Mario Draghi appears before a European Parliament committee, 2014

We all agree that accountability of public officials is a good thing, but our understanding of how accountability works could stand improvement.  In the current issue ofGovernanceMadalina Busuioc and Martin Lodge challenge the “hegemonic framework” for talking about accountability, the principal-agent model.  We persist in using this model, Busuioc and Lodge argue, even though it does not square with empirical evidence of how accountability-related activities actually work.  They propose an alternate model, a “reputation-based approach” to accountability, that provides a better explanation of behavior.  “Accountability is not about reducing information asymmetries, moral duties, containing agency losses, or ensuring that agents stay committed to the original terms of their mandates. Accountability is about sustaining one’s own reputation vis-à-vis different audiences.”  Read the article.

Written by Governance

May 6, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Three new articles on principal-agent theory

yes_ministerGovernance has published three new articles about the application of principal-agent theory in the public sector:

Madalina Busuioc and Martin Lodge on the limitations of the P-A model in explaining bureaucratic accountability: Read the article.

Caryn Peiffer and Linda Alvarez on the search for “principled principals” in the battle against corruption: Read the article.

Mor Sobol on problems of “pathological delegation” by principals to agents: Read the article.

Written by Governance

April 25, 2016 at 7:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Book reviews: Development, strategic management, multilevel finance

In the current issue of GovernanceRobert Picciotto reviewsThe Politics of Evidence and Results in International Development by Rosalind Eyben, Irene Guijt, Chris Roche, and Cathy Shutt.  This book “is reformist rather than revolutionary . . . It stays clear of big ideas.  It engages positively with the evidence-based movement rather than directly challenging its fundamental tenets.”  Read the review.
Tommaso Agasisti reviews Strategic Management in Public Services Organizations by Ewan Ferlie and Edoardo Ongaro.  The book “can be an excellent manual for graduate students . . . [and] is also an an advanced contribution for scholars in the field.”  Read the review.
Richard Allen reviews the Handbook of Multilevel Finance edited byEhtisham Ahmad and Giorgio Brosio.  “Three stars out of five for this comprehensive volume of papers . . . that, despite some excellent chapters, falls somewhat short of expectations.”  Read the review.

Written by Governance

March 21, 2016 at 10:56 am

Posted in Uncategorized