10 October 2016

SOG is the IPSA Research Committee on the Structure and Organization of Government.  It has been the academic sponsor of the journal Governance  since its creation by SOG in 1988.    Learn more.
Why voters sometimes prefer criminals as candidates

"In democracies around the world," Milan Vaishnav writes in the current issue of Governance, "candidates who stand accused or convicted of criminal conduct routinely win elections."  In his commentary, Vaishnav explains why.  He challenges the conventional wisdom that voters are just uninformed.  Looking at experience in India, Vaishnav suggests that under some circumstances, "politicians can use their criminality to signal their credibility when it comes to protecting the interest of voters in their constituencies."   Free access to the commentary.
How NPM made Westminster blunder-prone
 
The Westminster model of governance created a "symbiotic partnership" between the ministers responsible for government departments and the career civil servants who ran them,  David Richards and Martin J. Smith  argue in the current issue of Governance.  But the advent of New Public Management changed that, introducing new pathologies into British government.  "The most crucial pathology," they say, "is that the deliberative space afforded for critical engagement over public policy has been diminished."  The result? A government that is more vulnerable to serious blunders.  Read the article .  The article is part of a special issue on the future of the Westminster model.
The Westminster ideal: A useful myth
 
Many aspects of the Westminster model of governance are "convenient myths," Patrick Weller and Catherine Haddon argue in the current issue of Governance. No country has ever had a civil service that complied fully with the principles now associated with the Westminster model.  Many of those principles are actually highly ambiguous.  And practice within so-called "Westminster systems" has varied widely across time and geography.  Still, the model serves a useful purpose in guiding an ongoing debate about the role the civil service. "Its precepts are broad enough to guide, but never so precise that they prescribe."   Read the article .  The article is part of a special issue on the future of the Westminster system.
10 reasons policymakers don't use data effectively
 
We are in the midst of a data revolution, Donald Kettl says in a research note in the current issue of Governance.  But "we are generating data faster than we are devising strategies for hearing what it tells us and helping policymakers act on it."  Kettl outlines ten reasons why decision makers don't make best use of the new bounty of data.  By grappling with these ten problems, academics can "improve the odds that careful analysis, rather than the noisy background of ordinary knowledge, shapes policy."   Read the research note.
Is Public Management neglecting the state?
 
In July, Governance published a roundtable asking whether researchers in Public Management need to address big questions about state authority, capacity and legitimacy.  Read the roundtable.  See how Francis Fukuyama  answered the question.
Call for nominations: 2017 Levine Book Prize
 
The Levine Book Prize Committee is seeking nominations for the 2017 Levine Prize.   More details here.  The committee is composed of Professor Tobias Bach (University of Oslo), Professor Caspar van den Berg (Leiden University), and Professor Ting Gong (City University of Hong Kong).    Information about previous winners is available here.
CFP: Public management and institutional quality
 
The Structure and Organization of Government section of the International Political Science Association, together with the Quality of Government Institute at the University of Gothenburg,  invite you to submit a paper for a workshop on Public Management and Institutional Quality.  The workshop will be held on June 7-8, 2017.   More details about the call for papers here.
SOG seeks new editorial team 
 
The IPSA Research Committee on the Structure and Organization of Government (SOG), the academic sponsor of  Governance  is looking for a new editorial team. The current editorial team of Alasdair Roberts and Robert Cox will complete their term in December 2017. More information is available here. Interested scholars should contact Professor Martin Lodge at M.Lodge@lse.ac.uk.  According to Journal Citation Reports, Governance is ranked #2 in public administration and #5 in political science internationally.  It is the only journal in the world that is ranked in the top five in both fields.