15 September 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.
Is the Westminster model dead?
 
For more than a century, the Westminster system was one of the most influential models of public administration in the world.  Countries in the "Westminster world" claimed the benefits of a strong executive and an impartial, professional bureaucracy.  The October issue of Governance examines the health of the Westminster model today.  In their introduction to the special issue,  Dennis Grube and Cosmo Howard pose the big question: Is the model "under threat, dying, or already dead?"  Read the introduction to the special issue .
Commentary: Escaping the trap of systemic corruption
 
Why isn't the "anti-corruption industry" more effective?   In a commentary for Governance, David Arellano-Gault says the problem is "the failure to fully acknowledge the organizational role played by corruption in many societies. When a society experiences systemic corruption, it has built a solid, effective social trap."  He argues that the usual prescriptions of anti-corruption advocates are not enough to break "a socially and culturally sustained vicious circle."    Free access to the commentary. David Arellano-Gault is a Professor of Public Administration at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico City.
Right to Know Day: materials for the classroom
 
September 28 is International Right to Know Day.  Mark the day by watching this debate between Charles Lewis and Bruce Cain on the question, "Is American government too open?"  The video is accompanied by commentaries from Governance arguing both sides of the question.  It is well suited for classroom use.
Book reviews: The politics of information, horizontal management
 
In the current issue of Governance, Jacob Hacker reviews The Politics of Information by Frank Baumgartner and Bryan Jones.  "It is a formidable achievement," says Hacker.  "Baumgartner and Jones cast governance as a problem of information: getting it (or restricting it), ensuring that it is reliable (which sometimes means reliably consistent with one's priors), and acting on it."   Read the review.  

And Jale Tosun reviews Pursing Horizontal Management by B. Guy Peters.  Peters "focuses on how governments deal with specialization and coordination," Tosun says.  The book "moves away from structure-based approaches to public sector coordination and governance" by taking into account "the attitudes of participants in the coordination process."   Read the review.
SOG seeks new editorial team for Governance
 
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.