Government
government
 

 

 

* Government at a Glance 2013. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris: OECD, Nov 2013, 196p, $63 Provides indicators that inform the analysis and international comparison of public sector performance. Indicators on government revenues, expenditures, and employment are provided, alongside output and outcome data in the sectors of education and health. Also includes indicators on governance and public management issues, such as transparency in governance, regulatory governance, new ways in delivering public services and HRM and compensation practices in the public service. Some "key findings": 1) "trust in government has declined considerably, as citizens' growing expectations have been hard to address with limited government resources"; between 2007 and 2012, confidence in national governments declined 40-45% on average; 2) a new approach to public governance is needed to meet citizen expectations with limited means at hand; "this approach should be built around creating strategic capacity, strong institutions, effective instruments and processes, and clear measurable outcomes"; 3) public finance challenges remain, despite significant efforts to restore financial health; several OECD countries continue to face rising public debt-to-GDP ratios; 4) countries have adopted new budgetary practices and new governance institutions; 5) public employment levels tend to remain stable over the longer term: between 2001 and 2011 at just under 16% of the total labor force (a relatively small figure compared to average government spending at 45.4% of GDP I 2011, showing the important role of outsourcing; 6) further mechanisms are needed to close the public sector gender gap; 7) countries are using public procurement more strategically: many OECD members use procurement policy not only to foster value for money but to encourage innovation and sustainable growth (73% promote green procurement); 8) asset and private interest disclosure by decision makers continues to be an essential tool (however, few countries require disclosure of previous employment and liabilities); 9) to promote transparency, Open Government Data is gaining importance as a governance tool; 10) despite diminishing trust in "government," citizens report being pleased with the services provided by the local police force, schools, and health care; 11) governments in OECD countries are increasingly concerned with delivering quality public goods and services to a wide range of citizens; many countries are introducing service delivery performance standards as regards affordability, responsiveness, reliability, and citizen satisfaction. (download free at www.oecd-ilibrary.org) (GOVERNMENT TRENDS: OECD SURVEY)

 

* Global Social Policy in the Making: The Foundations of the Social Protection Floor. Bob Deacon (Prof Emeritus of Intl Social Policy, U of Sheffield).  Policy Press at the U of Bristol (U of Chicago Press, dist.), Aug 2013, 208p, $42.95pb. In 2012, organizations including the United Nations, G20, and International Labor Organization adopted a global policy initiative known as the social protection floor—a set of measures designed to ensure that all people have access to essential health care and income security over their lifespan.  Deacon traces emergence of the social protection floor and identifies the major influences that shaped it: 1) shifts in the world’s social structure, 2) processes inside international institutions, 3) attempts by global actors to create change, and 4) changes in the global conversation about social protection. (GLOBAL SOCIAL POLICY * “SOCIAL PROTECTION FLOOR”)

 

 

*Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against DemocracyRobert W. McChesney (Prof of Communication, U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). NY: The New Press, 2013, 299p, $27.95. The Internet is the culmination of nearly two centuries of electronic developments in communication. It has already had a huge impact on humankind and continues to do so. An initial chapter surveys the “Celebrants” who view the Internet positively (Clay Shirky, Yochai Benkler, Cass Sunstein, Peter H. Diamandis, James Curran, etc.) and the “Skeptics” who counter what the celebrants say (Evgeny Morosov, Jaron Lanier, Eli Pariser, Sherry Turkle, Nicholas Carr, Clifford Stoll, Rebecca MacKinnon, Virginia Eubanks, Larry Rosen), noting that the two sides are talking past each other. “Both camps, with a few exceptions, have a single, deep, and often fatal flaw…ignorance about really existing capitalism and an underappreciation of how capitalism dominates social life.” (p.13) A political economy context is needed to make sense of the Internet. The profit motive, commercialism, public relations, and marketing are defining feature of contemporary capitalism and basic to any assessment of how the Internet is likely to development. Chapters discuss the US as a weak democracy when seen in the light of capitalism, the political economy of communication, the Internet as a “capitalist hot spot,” the rise of a handful of gigantic firms to dominate the Internet alongside the telecom giants, how advertising has flooded the Internet, the sorry state of journalism in the digital age, and whether the Internet can be a democratic force. “The crisis of our times is that capitalism undermines democracy… (and) the Internet is in the very middle of this critical juncture.” (p.231) Digital technologies make the new economy and self-management of decentralized units far more realistic. The Internet can provide the greatest journalism and public sphere every imagined, and it plays a huge role in allowing people to self-organize. But “left on their current course and driven by the needs of capital, digital technologies can be deployed in ways that are extraordinarily inimical to freedom, democracy, and anything remotely connected to the good life.” (p.232) [NOTE: Concludes with 52 pages of notes providing an extensive bibliography on the digital revolution pro and con.] (COMMUNICATION * DEMOCRACY * INTERNET AND CAPITALISM)


* Addressing Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris: OECD, Feb 2013, 88p, $23 e-book. Base erosion constitutes a serious risk to tax revenues, tax sovereignty, and tax fairness for many countries. While there are many ways in which domestic tax bases can be eroded, a significant source of base erosion is profit shifting. This report identifies key principles that underlie taxation of cross-border activities, as well as the BEPS opportunities these principles may create. Current rules provide opportunities to associate more profits with legal constructs and intangible rights and obligations, and to legally shift risk intra-group, with the result of reducing the share of profits associated with substantive operations. (BUSINESS * GOVERNMENT * TAX FAIRNESS: PROFIT SHIFTING AND BASE EROSION PROFIT SHIFTING AND TAX FAIRNESS)

* Addressing Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris: OECD, Feb 2013, 88p, $23 e-book. Base erosion constitutes a serious risk to tax revenues, tax sovereignty, and tax fairness for many countries. While there are many ways in which domestic tax bases can be eroded, a significant source of base erosion is profit shifting. This report identifies key principles that underlie taxation of cross-border activities, as well as the BEPS opportunities these principles may create. Current rules provide opportunities to associate more profits with legal constructs and intangible rights and obligations, and to legally shift risk intra-group, with the result of reducing the share of profits associated with substantive operations. (BUSINESS * GOVERNMENT * TAX FAIRNESS: PROFIT SHIFTING AND BASE EROSION PROFIT SHIFTING AND TAX FAIRNESS)

 

* Specialized Anti-Corruption Institutions: Review of Models (Second Edition). Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris: OECD, Mar 2013, 180p, $49pb (with free e-book). Encouraged by international conventions and success of some specialized anti-corruption institutions in earlier times, such as the Hong Kong’s anti-corruption commission, many countries around the world, including those in Eastern Europe, have created new specialized institutions to prevent and combat corruption over the past decade. While many of these new anti-corruption agencies have shown good results, they cannot fight corruption alone. Other public institutions, including various specialized integrity and control bodies, and internal units in various public institutions should play a role in preventing and detecting corruption in different sectors of public administration. The report provides a comparative overview of common standards and key features of specialized anti-corruption institutions and comprehensive descriptions of 19 anti-corruption institutions operating in different parts of the world. This new edition reflects the evolving understanding of international standards and the practice and most recent experiences of anti-corruption institutions, and discusses three "models" of anti-corruption institutions: 1) multi-functional anti-corruption agencies, 2) institutions fighting corruption through law enforcement and 3) prevention institutions.
                          (GOVERNMENT * ANTI-CORRUPTION INSTITUTIONS * CORRUPTION FIGHTING)
  
* Routledge Handbook of Political Corruption. Edited by Paul Heywood (Prof of Politics, U of Nottingham). NY: Routledge, July 2013, 368p, $205 (www.routledge.com/9780415617789 ). Since the early 1990s, a series of major scandals in both the financial and political worlds has resulted in close attention to the issue of corruption. Although concerted international attention began to be devoted to the issue following the end of the Cold War, “corruption remains widespread today, possibly even more so (than before).” This Handbook describes the most innovative research in the field of corruption.
                                                                                (CORRUPTION * CRIME * FINANCIAL CORRUPTION)


* Rescuing Policy: The Case for Public Engagement. Don Lenihan (Vice President, PPF). Ottawa, Canada: Public Policy Forum, 2012, 185p, pb. In 2009, PPF launched the Public Engagement Project to explore new ways of thinking about how governments, stakeholders, communities, and citizens can collaborate to find and implement solutions to complex problems such as climate change and public health. The project involved seven provincial/territorial governments in Canada, the Canada School of Public Service, the City of Hamilton, and the Government of Australia, with >500 officials from participating governments and some 30 workshops. Five Principles for rethinking the policy process at a time of growing complexity and winning elections as the driving force behind policy-making: 1) Good policy such as promoting wellness or sustainable development is comprehensive; 2) Real progress requires public participation; 3) Societal goals require long-term planning (the policy process must build a long-term working relationship based on evidence, learning, mutual interest, and trust); 4) Every community is different (good policy-making must allow for real flexibility in solutions and implementation at a variety of levels); 5) The public has new expectations as regards transparency and accountability. Complexity is a game-changer that defines the public policy context of our times. The right response is to make the policy process more collaborative. Public engagement is a sound process or methodology for achieving this goal—a new and powerful tool for building sustainable communities at the local, regional, national, and international levels. The “process template” involves participants stating their views, deliberation (consolidating views, reframing issues, proposing broad solutions), action (developing a strategy, assigning roles and responsibilities), and evaluation (adopting a set of indicators to assess progress).                                            (GOVERNANCE * METHODS * PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT * COMPLEXITY)

* Global Parliamentary Report: The Changing Nature of Parliamentary Representation. United Nations Development Programme and Inter-Parliamentary Union. NY: United Nations Publications, June 2012, 120p, $25. Parliaments perform vital roles in a democracy. Their authority rests on their ability to represent and articulate the interests of citizens in ways that no other institution can. But many are having to change the way that they perform in order to retain their legitimacy and relevance. Draws on inputs from parliaments, parliamentarians, parliamentary development practitioners and academics to analyze the state of parliaments worldwide, the changing relationship between parliaments and citizens, and reforms designed to enhance this relationship. (GOVERNMENT * PARLIAMENTS: GLOBAL SURVEY)


* Public Policy in an Uncertain World: Analysis and Decisions.  Charles F. Manski (Prof of Economics, Northwestern U). Cambridge MA: Harvard U Press, Feb 2013, 162p, $39.95.  Current policy on issues ranging from vaccination to minimum wage to FDA drug approval is based on untrustworthy analysis. By failing to account for uncertainty in an unpredictable world, policy analysis misleads policy makers with expressions of certitude. Therefore, civil servants, journalists, citizens, and other consumers of policy analysis need to understand research methodology well enough to assess reported findings. In the current model, policy researchers base their predictions on strong assumptions, which lead to less credible predictions than weaker ones.  Manski’s alternative approach takes account of uncertainty and moves policy analysis away from incredible certitude, toward honest portrayal of partial knowledge; this helps policy makers form reasonable decisions based on partial knowledge of outcomes. 
                            (PUBLIC POLICY AND UNCERTAINTY * METHODS * UNCERTAINTY AND POLICY)

* Good Government: The Relevance of Political Science. Edited by Sören Holmberg and Bo Rothstein (both U of Gothenburg, Sweden). Northampton MA: Edward Elgar, July 2012, 304p, $150. 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. Responds to the following questions: 1) how can good government be conceptualized and measured, 2) what are the effects of ‘bad government’ and 3) how can the quality of government be improved?

                                                                                    (GOVERNMENT * GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE)

 

Accelerating Democracy: Matching Governance to Technological Change. John O. McGinnis (Prof of Constitutional Law, Northwestern U).  Princeton NJ: Princeton U Press, Jan 2013, 176p, , $29.95. Successful democracies throughout history—from ancient Athens to Britain on the cusp of the industrial age—have used the technology of their time to gather information for better governance. Our challenge is no different today, but it is more urgent because the accelerating pace of technological change creates potentially enormous dangers as well as benefits. McGinnis focuses on how to adapt democracy to new information technologies that can enhance political decision making and enable us to navigate the social rapids ahead. As society became more complex in the 19th century, social planning became a top down enterprise delegated to experts and bureaucrats. Today, technology increasingly permits information to bubble up from below and filter through more dispersed and competitive sources. McGinnis explains how to use fast-evolving information technologies to more effectively analyze past public policy, bring unprecedented intensity of scrutiny to current policy proposals, and more accurately predict the results of future policy.  A revival of federalism is needed to permit different jurisdictions to test different policies.  Democracy must be “informed by expertise and social-scientific knowledge, while shedding the arrogance and insularity of a technocracy.” 

                        (GOVERNMENT * INFOTECH AND GOVERNANCE * DEMOCRACY: ACCELERATION)

 

* Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America. Martin Gilens (Prof of Politics, Princeton U).   Princeton NJ: Princeton U Press and NY: Russell Sage Foundation, Aug 2012, 348p, $35. In an ideal democracy, all citizens should have equal influence on government policy—but America’s policymakers respond almost exclusively to the preferences of the economically advantaged.  Political inequality in the United States has evolved over the last several decades, with growing disparity shaped by interest groups, parties, and elections. When preferences of low- or middle-income Americans diverge from those of the affluent, there is virtually no relationship between policy outcomes and the desires of less advantaged groups. In contrast, affluent Americans’ preferences exhibit a substantial relationship with policy outcomes whether their preferences are shared by lower-income groups or not. Under specific circumstances, preferences of the middle class and, to a lesser extent, the poor, seem to matter: impending elections and an even partisan division in Congress boost responsiveness to the preferences of the broader public. (SOCIETY * GOVERNMENT * POLITICAL INEQUALITY * INEQUALITY)

 

* The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American DemocracyKay Lehman Schlozman (Prof of Pol Sci, Boston College), Sidney Verba (University Prof Emeritus, Harvard U), and Henry E. Bradley (Prof of Pol Sci and Public Policy, U of California, Berkeley).  Princeton NJ: Princeton U Press, May 2012, 608p, $35.  Politically active individuals and organizations make huge investments of time, energy, and money to influence everything from election outcomes to congressional subcommittee hearings to local school politics, while other groups and individual citizens seem woefully underrepresented in our political system.  Looks at the political participation of individual citizens alongside the political advocacy of thousands of organized interests – membership organizations such as trade associations, unions, professional organizations, and citizens groups, as well as organizations like corporations, hospitals, and universities.  Demonstrates that American democracy is marred by deeply ingrained and persistent class-based political inequality,how the political voices of organized interests are even less representative than those of individuals, how political advantage is handed down over generations, how recruitment to political activity perpetuates and exaggerates existing biases, and how political voice on the Internet replicates these inequalities. (GOVERNMENT * INEQUALITY * DEMOCRACY: BROKEN PROMISE)

 

* The Democracy Index: Why Our Election System Is Failing and How to Fix ItHeather K. Gerken (Prof of Law, Yale U).  Princeton NJ: Princeton U Press, June 2012, 192p, $16.95pb (cloth 2009).  Calls for a Democracy Index that would rate the performance of state and local election systems, and provides a blueprint for quantifying election performance and reform results.  It would work because no one wants to be at the bottom of the list.   The Index would consider areas with the shortest lines at polling stations, easiest places to cast an absentee ballot, cities with the most accurate voter rolls, leading states for accurate voting machines, and best registration processes. (GOVERNMENT * ELECTIONS * DEMOCRACY INDEX)

 

* The Politics of Precaution: Regulating Health, Safety, and Environmental Risks in Europe and the United StatesDavid Vogel (Prof of Pol Sci, U of California, Berkeley).  Princeton NJ: Princeton U Press, May 2012, 320p, $39.50.  Since the 1990s, global regulatory leadership shifted from the US to Europe in regard to vehicle air pollution, ozone depletion, climate change, beef and milk hormones, genetically modified agriculture, antibiotics in animal feed, pesticides, cosmetic safety, and hazardous substances in electronic products.  Explains why Europe and the US have often regulated risks differently.  Concerns over these risks, and pressure on political leaders to do something about them, have risen among the European public, but declined among Americans.  European policymakers have thus grown more willing to regulate risks on precautionary grounds, while increasingly skeptical American policymakers call for higher levels of scientific certainty before imposing additional regulatory controls on business. (GOVERNMENT * REGULATION * RISK REGULATION: U.S. AND EUROPE * TOXIC SUBSTANCES)

 

* It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism.  Thomas E. Mann (Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution) and Norman J. Ornstein (Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute).  NY: Basic Books, May 2012, $26.  Two respected students of Washington politics and Congress for >40 years, and authors of The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Oxford UP, 2006), argue that acrimony and hyper-partisanship have seeped into every part of the US political process.  The Republicans have taken on the role of insurgent outlier--ideologically extreme, scornful of compromise, contemptuous of the established regime, and unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science.  “The political system has become grievously hobbled at a time when the country faces unusually serious problems and grave threats…[the US] is squandering its economic future and putting itself at risk because of an inability to govern effectively.”  Two overriding problems have led Congress and the US to the brink of institutional collapse: 1) the serious mismatch between our political parties which have become vehemently adversarial, and a governing system that, unlike a parliamentary democracy, makes it extremely difficult for majorities to act; 2) while both parties participate in tribal warfare, both sides are not equally culpable—a condition of “asymmetric polarization.”  Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet reform to solve everything, but the authors do offer a number of ideas, as in their 2006 book.           (GOVERNMENT * CONGRESS POLARIZED * POLITICS OF EXTREMISM)

 

* Campaign 2012: Twelve Independent Ideas for Improving American Public Policy. Edited by Benjamin Wittes (senior fellow in Governance Studies, Brookings Institution).  Washington: Brookings Institution Press, April 2012, 250p, $26.95pb.  Governing the United States will be extremely difficult for whoever emerges in November 2012. Explores key questions facing the White House hopefuls: fiscal policy (Ron Haskins), policies in South Asia (Michael O’Hanlon) and the Middle East (Kenneth Pollack and Shadi Hamid), health care (Alice Rivlin), political and institutional reform (William Galston), housing, energy and climate, and rethinking Federalism.  (GOVERNMENT * U.S. PUBLIC POLICY: 12 IDEAS)
 
 
**Government at a Glance 2011.  Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.  Paris: OECD, June 2011, 264p (8x11”), $49; www.oecd-ilibrary.org.  The second edition notes in the Preface that “the recent crisis has been caused by major failures in regulation and supervision by public authorities, as well as by shortcomings in risk management and corporate governance by the private sector.”  It has shaken many long-held assumptions, and has led to calls for change in the global governance architecture.  The task is critical, because governments are major players in most nations, and have significantly expanded in the last 50 years since OECD was established in 1961 (at that time, general government outlays of member countries averaged <30% of GDP; the average now exceed 45%, up from 40% in 2007).  Efforts to restructure the state must reassess were and how government should and should not intervene.  “In short, it is about better and more effective governance, about sound institutions and efficie3nt rules and procedures.”  Chapters provide 58 data sets of member and partner countries, and discuss leveraged governance to get results, the need for evidence-based decision-making (most OECD countries are planning reforms to consolidate finances), evaluating the quality of reforms, general government expenditures and investment, strategic foresight and leadership (regarding fiscal sustainability, human resources management, e-government strategies), public workforce restructuring, compensation, human resources practices, transparency in governance (proactive disclosure of information, the budget process conflict-of-interest disclosure, public procurement), green procurement, regulatory governance, outsourcing, greater fairness through selected policies, and efficient tax administration.  (GOVERNMENT: OECD OVERVIEW * GOVERNANCE TRENDS *  TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNANCE * FORESIGHT IN GOVERNANCE)

 

* Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of GovernanceSanford Levinson (Prof of Law and Pol Sci, U of Texas-Austin).  NY: Oxford UP, April 2012, 416p, $29.95.  The Constitution should be treated as a badly flawed document deserving revision.  Levinson explores the original assumptions underlying our institutions and shows that its fundamental procedures of governance – congressional bicameralism and the selection of the President by the Electoral College – contribute to the dysfunction  of today’s American politics.  The U.S. Constitution doesn’t uniquely exemplify the American constitutional tradition; the 50 state constitutions, often interestingly different – and perhaps better, have been updated by frequent amendments or by complete replacement by state constitutional conventions.  Basic law often reaches a point where it becomes obsolete.  The US Constitution merits its own updating.  [Also see The Living Constitution by David A. Strauss (Oxford UP, May 2010, 144p), on how the US Constitution can sensibly evolve, The Constitution in 2020 edited by Jack Balkin and Reva Siegel (Oxford UP, June 2009), A More Perfect Constitution: 23 Proposals by Larry J. Sabato (Walker & Co, 2007), and A Bill of Rights for 21st Century America by Joseph F. Coates (Kanawha Institute, 2007).]  (GOVERNMENT * CONSTITUTION UPDATING: U.S)
 
* Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to KnowLeonard E. Burman (Prof of Public Administration and Economics, Syracuse U) and Joel Slemrod (Prof of Economics, U of Michigan).  NY: Oxford UP, August 2012, 224p, $16.95pb.  Explains how the US tax system works, how it affects people and businesses, and how it may be improved.  Uses a Q&A format to address questions as: How to recognize Fool’s Gold tax reform plans? How much more tax would the IRS collect with better enforcement?  How do tax burdens vary around the world?  Why do corporations pay so little tax?  What kind of tax system is most conducive to economic growth. (TAXES IN U.S. * GOVERNMENT * TAX REFORM)
 
*Health Reform:  Meeting the Challenge of Ageing and Multiple Morbidities.  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.  Paris: OECD, Nov 2011, 221p.  “The ageing of our societies is at the same time one of our greatest achievements and one of our biggest challenges.”  The professional organization of health provision no longer reflects the changing patient and population health needs caused by the growing number of complex illnesses. In 1961, when the OECD was founded, health systems were gearing themselves up to deliver acute care interventions.  Sick people were to be cured in hospitals, then sent on their way again. Medical training was focused on hospitals; innovation was to develop new interventions; payment systems were centered around single episodes of care.  Health systems have delivered big improvements in health since then, but they can be slow to adapt to new challenges. In particular, these days, the overwhelming burden of disease is chronic, for which ‘cure’ is out of our reach. Health policies have changed to some extent in response, though perhaps not enough.  But the challenge of the future is that the typical recipient of health care will be aged and will have multiple morbidities.  Examines how payment systems, innovation policies, and human resource policies need to be modernized so that OECD health systems will continue to generate improved health outcomes in the future at a sustainable cost.  Today’s health care is at a crossroads in thinking about financing care for older people with multiple morbidites and multiple needs, with a choice of two paths: 1) one path leads to detailed care plans, bundling payments, transferring risk, and traditional market competition; 2) the other path leads to whole system targets with minimum specification, pooled budgets, and innovative market models. “Demographic and epidemiological realities will force governments to choose, and they need to think carefully about which direction to go.” 
(HEALTH SYSTEMS REFORM * GOVERNMENT AND HEALTH)
 
* Regulatory Policy and Governance: Supporting Economic Growth and Serving the Public Interest . Organization for Co-operation and Development, Paris: OECD, Oct 2011, 120p, $37.  Regulations are indispensable to the proper functioning of economies and societies.  They underpin markets, protect the rights and safety of citizens and ensure the delivery of public goods and services.  At the same time, regulations are rarely costless.  Businesses complain that red tape holds back competitiveness, while citizens complain about the time that it takes to fill out government paperwork.  More worrying still, regulations can be inconsistent with the achievement of policy objectives.  They can have unintended consequences and they can become less effective or even redundant over time. The 2008 financial crisis, and the ensuing and ongoing economic downturn, are stark reminders of the consequence of regulatory failure.  The report encourages governments to "think big" about the relevance of regulatory policy; assesses recent efforts of OECD countries to develop and deepen regulatory policy and governance; evaluates the comprehensive policy cycle by which regulations are designed, assessed and evaluated, revised, and enforced at all levels of government; and provides ideas on developing a robust regulatory environment as key to returning to a stronger, fairer and more sustainable growth path.  “Many OECD countries did not have a regulatory policy ten years ago; nearly all do now.  There is growing interest in using regulatory policy to address broad societal concerns such as distributional equity and sustainable developments.  
(GOVERNMENT * ECONOMY * REGULATION POLICY: OECD SURVEY)
 
* The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity.   Jeffrey Sachs (Director, Earth Institute, Columbia U).  NY: Random House, Oct 2011, 336p, $27.  A global macroeconomist argues that both political parties and many economists have missed the big picture, offering shortsighted solutions to address complex problems.  They “profoundly underestimate” globalization’s long-term effects on the US. Meanwhile, the political system has lost its ethical moorings, with ever-rising campaign contributions and lobbying outlays overpowering the voice of citizens.  And our culture is over-stimulated and consumer-driven.  Policies of both parties have systematically favored capital over labor, and kept tax rates low on footloose multinationals, while starving government programs that benefit the poor and unemployed.  Urges creation of a third political party to the left of the Democrats (the Alliance for the Radical Center), spending an additional 1% of GDP on worker training and early childhood development, raising the top tax rate to 39.6% (which would raise 0.5% of GDP), and reclaiming the virtues of good citizenship and mindfulness toward the economy and one another.  Most important, we must accept the price of civilization so we can restore America to its great promise.                                                              (GOVERNMENT * GLOBALIZATION)
 
* Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It.  Lawrence Lessig (Prof of Law and Director, Center for Ethics, Harvard U).  NY: Twelve (Hachette Book Group), Oct 2011, 320p, $26.99.  In an era when special interests funnel huge amounts of money into our government, driven by shifts in campaign finance rules and the recent Supreme Court “Citizens United” decision, trust in American government has reached an all-time low.  “Government is an embarrassment.  It has lost the capacity to make essential decisions.”  Corruption is wrecking our democracy, and “a ship that can’t be steered is a ship that will sink.” Good people with good intentions have allowed our democracy to be co-opted by outside interests, and this exploitation has become entrenched in the system.  The great threat today is “the economy of influence, now transparent to all, which has normalized a process that draws our democracy away from the will of the people…an engine of influence that seeks simply to make those most connected rich.”  Describes the problems of campaign financing and corporate lobbying, calls for a new Constitutional Convention, and offers solutions for gaining control of our corrupted representational system.  (GOVERNMENT * CORRUPTION * CONGRESS CORRUPTED * DEMOCRACY CORRUPTED)
 
* Governing for the Long Term: Democracy and the Politics of InvestmentAlan M. Jacobs (U of British Columbia, Vancouver).  NY: Cambridge U Press, March 2011, 324p, $90pb.  Policymaking is not a single distributive event, but a stream of government actions whose effects are felt over long spans of time.  Jacobs makes a case for bringing trade-offs over time to the center of the study of policymaking, investigating conditions under which elected governments invest in long-term social benefits at short-term social cost.  If governments want to reduce public debt, slow climate change, or shore up pension systems, they must typically inflict immediate pain on citizens for gains that will only arrive over the long run.  Investment-oriented policies must surmount three distinct hurdles to future-oriented state action: 1) a problem of electoral risk, rooted in the scarcity of voter attention; 2) a problem of prediction, deriving from the complexity of long-term policy effects; and 3) a problem of institutional capacity, arising from interest groups' preferences for distributive gains over intertemporal bargains.
(GOVERNMENT * LONG-TERM GOVERNING * POLITICS OF INVESTMENT)
 
* Asset Declarations for Public Officials: A Tool to Prevent CorruptionOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.  Paris: OECD, March 2011, 135p, $ 40pb (pdf available at www.oecd-ilibrary.org based on subscription).  Provides a systemic analysis of the existing practice in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and in some OECD member states in Western Europe and North America, and discusses the cost-effectiveness and the overall usefulness of declaration systems.  Examines key elements of asset declaration systems (such as policy objectives, legal frameworks and institutional arrangements), categories of public officials required to submit declarations, types of required information, procedures for verifying information, sanctions for violations, and public disclosure.  Case studies feature Lithuania, Romania, Spain, and Ukraine, with many additional country examples.                     (GOVERNMENT * ASSET DECLARATION FOR OFFICIALS * CORRUPTION)
 
* Collaborative Governance: Private Roles for Public Goals in Turbulent TimesJohn D. Donahue and Richard J. Zeckhauser (both, Harvard Kennedy School).  Princeton NJ: Princeton U Press, April 2011, 296p, $27.95.  Demonstrates how government at every level can engage the private sector to overcome seemingly insurmountable problems and achieve public goals more effectively.  Private engagement in public missions –rightly structured and skillfully managed –is the way smart government ought to operate.  Covers how, when, and why collaboration works, and also under what circumstances it doesn’t.               (GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE SECTOR * COLLABORATIVE GOVERNANCE)
 
* Cultivating Conscience: How Good Laws Make Good PeopleLynn A. Stout (Prof of Corporate and Securities Law, UCLA).  Princeton NJ: Princeton U Press, Nov 2010, 296p, $27.95.  Rather than lean on the power of greed to shape laws and human behavior, we should rely on conscience, which is a vital force in our lives.  Drawing from social psychology, behavioral economics, and evolutionary biology, Stout demonstrates how social cues trigger unselfish behavior and argues that the legal system should use these cues.  Current emphasis on self-interest may have contributed to the recent catastrophic political missteps and financial scandals by encouraging corrupt and selfish actions, and undermining society’s moral compass. (GOVERNMENT * LEGAL SYSTEM * LAW AND UNSELFISH BEHAVIOR)
 
* The Future of Public Administration around the World: The Minnowbrook Perspective.  Edited by Rosemary O’Leary (Distinguished Prof of Public Adm, Syracuse U), David M. Van Slyke (Assoc Prof of Public Adm, Syracuse U), and Soonhee Kim (Assoc Prof of Public Adm, Syracuse U).  Washington: Georgetown U Press, Dec 2010, 288p, $29.95pb.  A one-in-a-generation event held every twenty years, SU’s Minnowbrook III conference in 2008 assembled top scholars in public administration and public management to reflect on the state of the field and its future.  Focuses on public administration challenges in the future: globalism, 21st century collaborative governance, the role of information technology in governance, deliberative democracy and public participation, the organization of the future, and teaching the next generation of leaders.  Minnowbrook I was held in 1968 and Minnowbrook II in 1988.                                                                       (GOVERNMENT * PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION)
* Value for Money in Government: Public Administration after “New Public Management”Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.  Paris: OECD, July 2010, 116p, free pdf.  In the 1980s, “less” government was the prevailing idea; in the 1990s and early 21C, the “New Public Management” theme dominated.  Reforms are now focusing on quality of services for citizens and businesses, and on efficacy of administration.  Examines four themes in nine OECD countries (Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, and the UK): development of shared service centers, steering and control of agencies, automatic productivity cuts, and spending review procedures.                         (GOVERNMENT * PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION: NEW THEMES)
 
* Improving the Governance of RiskOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.  OECD Reviews of Regulatory Reform and Risk.  Paris: OECD Publishing, April 2010/251p. Governments are expected to protect citizens from adverse consequences of hazardous events, but it is not possible or necessary for all risks to be removed.  A risk-based approach to design of regulation can help insure that regulatory approaches are efficient, while accounting for tradeoffs across policy objectives.  Few OECD governments have taken steps to develop a coherent risk governance policy for regulation. Covers challenges in designing regulatory policy frameworks to manage risks, different cultural and legal dimensions of risk regulatory concepts across OECD, analytical models and principles for decision-making in uncertain situations, and key elements of risk regulation and governance institutions. Looks at five OECD countries (Australia, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, UK) and across four sectors (environment, food safety, financial markets, and health and safety).
 (GOVERNMENT * RISK AND REGULATION * REGULATION POLICY)
  
* Constitutional TheocracyRan Hirschl (Prof of Political Science and Law, U of Toronto).  Cambridge MA: Harvard U Press, Nov 2010/290p/$45.  A new legal order has emerged at the intersection of two sweeping global trends: rising popular support for theocratic governance and the spread of constitutionalism or judicial review.   Analyzes religion-and-state jurisprudence from dozens of countries and explores the evolving role of constitutional law and courts in a non-secularist world.  Argues that the constitutional enshrinement of religion is a rational, prudent strategy that allows opponents of theocratic governance to bring it under check  while protecting their societies against radical religion. 
(GOVERNMENT * THEOCRACY RISING * CONSTITUTIONAL THEOCRACY)
  
*Engaging Civil Society: Emerging Trends in Democratic Governance.  Trends and Innovations in Governance Series.  Edited by G. Shabbir Cheema (director, Asia-Pacific Governance and Democracy Initiative; senior fellow, East-West Center; Honolulu) and Vesselin Popovski (Institute for Sustainability and Peace, UNU, Tokyo).  Tokyo & NY: United Nations U Press (dist by Brookings Institution Press), Aug 2010/308p/$36pb.  Looks at the changing role of civil society in global and national governance, as play an expanded role in increasing transparency, participation, access to services, and the rule of law.  Identifies factors that influence effectiveness of civil society in promoting democratic governance, and explores the extent to which global civil society has influenced global democratic governance. Also examines patterns of growth of civil society in Asia and Africa, and the importance of a related legal framework.                     (GOVERNANCE * DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE * CIVIL SOCIETY)
  
** Choosing the Nation’s Fiscal FutureCommittee on the Fiscal Future of the United States.  Washington DC: National Academies Press, Jan 2010/380p/$53.95pb.  The trajectory of the federal budget set by current policies cannot be sustained. Assesses options for a sustainable federal budget  that consider reduced spending (for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits), raised payroll taxes, and changing many other government spending programs and tax policies.  Also scrutinizes the federal budget process with a view to increase its accountability and responsibility, and explains how to assess budget proposals for their consistency with long-term fiscal stability. 
(ECONOMY: FISCAL SUSTAINABILITY * GOVERNMENT: U.S. FEDERAL BUDGET * BUDGET OPTIONS: U.S. GOVERNMENT)
  
* Government at a Glance 2009.     Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. OECD, Oct 2009/163p. A new biennial publication providing 31 indicators of government performance compared across OECD countries, as concerns government revenues by level of government, expenditures by level and type of government, production costs in general government, public employment, the aging workforce, human resource management practices, budgeting practices, regulatory simplification and impact analysis, integrity (conflict-of-interest disclosure, whistle-blowing, preventing corruption in procurement), open government legislation, and e-government readiness. Initial chapter discusses governance challenges for the future.            (GOVERNMENT * INDICATORS: OECD GOVERNMENTS)
 
* The Political Economy of Reform: Lessons from Pensions, Product Markets and Labour Markets in Ten OECD Countries. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. OECD, Aug 2009/501p. Examines why some policy reforms get implemented and others languish by looking at 20 case studies in 10 OECD countries over the past two decades (e.g., pension reform in France, US reform of welfare and Social Security, power-sector and water reform in Australia, labor law reform in Mexico); main findings: the importance of an electoral mandate, effective communication, solid research and analysis, taking time, persistence, and leadership.                        (GOVERNANCE * METHODS)
 
* The People Factor: Strengthening America by Investing in Public Service. Linda J. Bilmes (Lecturer in Public Policy, JFK School, Harvard U) and W. Scott Gould (VP, IBM Global Business Services). Washington: Brookings Institution Press, April 2009/359p/$19.95pb. The US requires a new and revitalized federal government, yet nearly half the federal workforce will be eligible for retirement in the next five years—retirements that could serious impair America’s ability to function—and the federal government turns away talent by its cumbersome hiring process; proposes investing $10 billion in the next five years, leading to $300-600 billion in productivity gains and cost savings.
 (GOVERNANCE * PUBLIC SERVICE)
 
* Strengthening Congress. Lee H. Hamilton (Director, Center on Congress, Indiana U; President, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars). Indiana U Press, Oct 2009/128p/$14.95pb. Distinguished Indiana Congressman (1965-1999) explains how Congress has drifted away from the role envisioned for it in the Constitution, and argues that America needs a stronger Congress and a more engaged citizenry in order to ensure responsive and effective democracy. Calls for reinforcing congressional oversight, restoring the deliberative process, curbing the influence of lobbyists, and reducing excessive partisanship.                                            (GOVERNANCE: U.S. * CONGRESS)
 
When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation. James S. Fishkin (Director, Center for Deliberative Democracy, Stanford U). NY: Oxford UP, Sept 2009/256p/$29.95. Co-author with Bruce Ackerman of Deliberation Day (Yale UP, 2004), which proposes a new two-day national holiday before major national elections, outlines deliberative democracy projects that he has conducted with various collaborators in the US, China, Australia, and EU so as to revive our modern democracies.                                                                             (GOVERNANCE * DEMOCRACY)
 
* The Constitution in 2020. Edited by Jack Balkin and Reva Siegel (both Profs of Law, Yale U). NY: Oxford UP, June 2009/336p/$19.95pb. Offers a blueprint for implementing a more progressive vision of constitutional law in the years ahead, considering the challenge of new technologies, presidential power, international human rights, religious liberty, freedom of speech, voting, reproductive rights, and economic rights. [Also seeA More Perfect Constitution: 23 Proposals by Larry J. Sabato (Walker & Co, 2007) and A Bill of Rights for 21st Century America by Joseph F. Coates (Kanawha Institute, 2007).]
 (GOVERNANCE * U.S. CONSTITUTION)
 
* Investing in the Disadvantaged: Assessing the Benefits and Costs of Social Policies. Edited by David L. Weimer (Prof of Public Affairs, U of Wisconsin-Madison) and Aidan R. Vining (Prof of Business and Govt Relations, Simon Fraser U). Washington: Georgetown U Press, April 2009/288p/$29.95pb. With budgets squeezed at every level of government, cost-benefit analysis holds great potential for assessing efficiency of many programs. CBA is applied to 10 areas of social policy: early childhood development, elementary and secondary schools, health care for the disadvantaged, mental illness, substance abuse and addiction, juvenile crime, prisoner reentry programs, housing assistance, work-incentive programs for the unemployed and employers, and welfare-to-work interventions. (GOVERNMENT * SOCIAL POLICY: COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS * COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS AND SOCIAL POLICY)
 
* Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful. Beth Simone Noveck (Prof of Law, NYU). Washington: Brookings Institution Press, June 2009/224p/$28.95. Shows how collaborative democracy can be designed, and how it opens policymaking to greater participation; includes a case study of inviting the public to join in examining patent applications, radically transforming the process, and proposes policy wikis and civic juries.
 (GOVERNANCE * DEMOCRACY)
 
 
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