News from Governance September 27, 2015
An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions

Co-Editors  Alasdair S. Roberts and Robert H. Cox   Book Review Editor  Clay Wescott 
Needed: a new kind of global governance research
 
"Global governance is not working,"  David Coen and Tom Pegram of University College London say in a commentary in the current issue of Governance.  And neither is global governance research.  "The 'global' in governance remains largely terra incognita et obscura" for many academics,  Coen and Pegram argue.  "It is essential for social science scholars to grapple more fully with a globalizing governance reality."  Free access to the commentary.  
When do bureaucrats' preferences alter budgets?
 
A substantial literature demonstrates how politicians' preferences shape budget outcomes.  But that literature neglects how bureaucrats might also shape those outcomes.  In the current issue of Governance, Martin Baekgaard, Jens Blom-Hansen and Soren Serritzlew develop a more sophisticated model that examines the influence of both politicians and bureaucrats.  In a study of Danish local governments, "political preferences trump bureaucratic ones on questions salient to the public" -- but there is "no evidence that political preferences matter on less salient policy areas."  Read the article.
Blog: The merit principle in crisis, and India's impasse
 
Last month, Governance published Don Kettl's commentary The merit principle in crisis.  On our blog, read responses from Neil Bradley of the Conservative Reform Network, Kathryn NewcomerRon Sanders, Patricia Ingraham, Max Stier, Jeffrey Straussman, Tony Bovaird and Edwin Truman.

And Krishna Tummala writes about the impasse in India's Parliament.  "The South West monsoon in India has failed," says Tummala, "but the monsoon session of the Indian Parliament which ended on August 13th was a washout." Read the post.
How executives build power through consultation
 
Why do executives consult with interest groups?  It isn't just respect for the power of those groups, or democratic idealism.  In the current issue of Governance, Adriana Bunea and Robert Thomson show how executives also use consultations as a device for bolstering their own bargaining power over legislators.  The authors examine policymaking within the European Union, showing how consultation allows the European Commission to "claim more legitimacy and technical expertise than they otherwise could."   Read the article.
Book reviews: How states develop, the welfare of children, what the US expects from development
 
Steve Webb reviews Political Order and Inequality by Carles Boix. The book is a "valuable complement" to other recent attempts to explain why states exist and how they emerge.  Read the review.

Melissa Habedank reviews Children's Chances: How Countries Can Move From Surviving to Thriving by Jody Heymann with Kristen McNeill.  The book's survey of laws and policies around the world illustrate how "where a child is raised can profoundly affect his or her chances of thriving."  Read the review.

Clay Wescott reviews Govern Like Us: U.S. Expectations of Poor Countries by M.A. Thomas.  Wescott says that the book emphasizes the need to "destigmatize the governance of poor countries, finding ways to leverage their patronage networks and corrupt practices to make incremental progress toward a better life for their citizens."   Read the review