Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Posts Tagged ‘United States

The rise and fall of US carbon taxes

Carbon taxesMost experts agree that the best way to control greenhouse gases is through taxation or cap-and-trade systems, but the US political system is notoriously resistant to such policies.  In 2008-2009, though, Barry Raab says there was a “short-lived revolution” in policymaking, as policies such as these briefly seemed politically viable.  In the current issue of Governance (23.4, October 2010) Raab asks why these policy options suddenly gained support, and examines the “rapid and decisive reversal” that followed. Today, says Raab, there is still “a steady trend” in favor of policy responses that “minimize, delay, or obscure cost imposition as an approach to greenhouse gas emissions reduction.”  Read the article: The Aversion to Direct Cost Imposition: Selecting Climate Policy Tools in the United States.

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November 8, 2010 at 1:00 am

Why regulators expands their role

In the current issue of Governance (23.1), Moshe Maor questions the prevailing view that regulatory agencies are “more or less passive actors involving their purview.”  Drawing on a study of the US Food and Drug Administration, Maor suggests that regulators will “claim jurisdiction” when new information becomes available about the potential for serious harm from a new technology, or when rival regulators attempt to extend their own jurisdiction over that technology.  The underlying concern is to protect organizational reputation.  Jurisdictional claiming may not always be rational, Maor argues: “Agency officials do not have all the rational capacity and time to choose the best course of action.”  And regulators can act unilaterally, without assurance that political actors will support their jurisdictional claims.  Read more: Organizational Reputation and Jurisdictional Claims: The Case of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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February 24, 2010 at 1:00 am

Starr discusses forthcoming commentary

Paul Starr speaks at Governance roundtable, 1 October 2009Paul Starr, the Stuart Professor of Communications and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, (center in photo) discussed his forthcoming Governance commentary in Boston on 1 October 2009.  The commentary, “The liberal state in a digital world,” will be published in the January 2010 (23.4) issue of Governance.  The workshop was co-sponsored by the journal and the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School.

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October 1, 2009 at 4:43 pm

For Right to Know Day: Free download of Coglianese on Obama’s transparency record

Professor Cary Coglianese

September 28 is International Right to Know Day.  To mark the day, Governance is providing free access to Professor Cary Coglianese’s article from its new issue (22.4, October 2009).  In The Transparency President? The Obama Administration and Open Government, Coglianese assesses the administration’s early record on transparency and warns that high public expectations about openness may not be realized.  He also raises larger questions about “an excessive emphasis on fishbowl governance,” aimed mainly at the disclosure of details about how officials behave.  The neglected alternative, says Coglianese, might be a strategy of “reasoned transparency, that demands that government officials offer explicit explanations for their actions.”  Download for free here.

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September 25, 2009 at 8:34 am

Why privatization? New services, not fiscal stress

A new study of privatization decisions by US country governments from 1992 to 2002 challenges the assumption that fiscal stress is a major reason for privatizing public services.  “There is no evidence that fiscal stress induces privatization,” says Roland Zullo in the current issue of Governance.  Nor is there clear evidence that politically conservative regions favor privatization, or that labor-friendly laws impede it.  Surprisingly, says Zullo, “the results suggest that private and intermunicipal contracting expand when government grows . . . this reflects a pragmatic use of external suppliers for trial, temporary and contingent services.”  Read more: Does Fiscal Stress Induce Privatization? 22.3 (July 2009).

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July 17, 2009 at 1:00 am

Free download: Mashaw on terror and the rule of law

Free download: In another of Governance‘s notes on the Obama administration, Jerry Mashaw of Yale Law School reflects on Terror, the Rule of Law, and Institutional Design (22.3, July 2009).  Mashaw says that the post-9/11 struggle is a “story of administrative arrogance, judicial hesitancy, and congressional failure.”  But he is skeptical that a change in administration will eliminate the long-term threat to American legal culture that is posed by the war against terror.  Mashaw doubts that interbranch competition, or reforms within the executive branch, can assure respect for the rule of the law in times of national emergency.  The best solution, he says, might be the previously unthinkable notion of “two constitutions” — one for normalcy, and one for emergencies — so that “actions taken and legally sanctioned in extraordinary times [do] not bleed into and shape the normal legal culture.” Sign up for notices about future downloads here.

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June 24, 2009 at 10:24 am