News from Governance 13 November 2013
An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions

Co-Editors  Alasdair S. Roberts and Robert H. Cox  Book Review Editor  Clay Wescott 
The pitfalls of contracting for policy advice
In the current issue of Governance, Ringa Raudla of the Tallinn University of Technology examines the problems that can emerge when governments outsource the task of providing policy and management advice.  Raudla examines the use of consultants during Estonia's recent experiments in budget reform.  The decision to rely on contractors was encouraged by the availability of European Union structural funds.  Estonian experience, Raudla concludes, shows how "contractualization of policymaking . . . can lead to inconsistent reform plans, hinder genuine deliberation on the content of reform, and undermine its democratic legitimacy." Read the article.
Research note: Indicators of political & property rights
It is widely agreed that more attention should be paid to the influence of non-economic factors such as institutions on development.  But good data on institutions can be hard to find.  In the current issue of Governance, John Manuel Luiz, Luis Brites Pereira, and Guilherme Olivera explain how they developed indicators of political and property rights in one country -- Mozambique -- spanning the past century.  They plan to develop comparable indicators for all Southern African countries, providing a better foundation for "exploring the dynamics of economic growth and development over time." Read the research note.
Book reviews: Patronage, bad data in Africa, shadow elites, and invisible colleges


In the current issue of GovernanceJ.W. Christian Schuster reviews Jobs for the Boys: Patronage and the State in Comparative Perspective by Merilee S. Grindle.  It is "a fascinating read," Schuster says, "refuting key assumptions of prior scholarly work and development practice."  Read the review.

Matt Andrews reviews Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics by Morton Jerven.  Jerven "tells a lively story" that shows how "the numbers we so readily rely on are more questionable than we would like to admit."  Read the review.

Michael Johnston
reviews Shadow Elite by Janine Wedel.  Wedel explores the world of "flexians . . . the diverse and elusive network of professionals, activists, analysts, consultants and wheeler dealers" whose decisions affect millions of lives.  Read the review.

Boris Hauray reviews Scientists and the Regulation of Risk by David Demortain.  Demortain's thesis, Hauray says, is that "invisible colleges" of interconnected transnational scientists pay a critical role in establishing standards of risk regulation in domains such as medicine and food safety.  Read the review.


Call for papers: Governance in India
Governance is seeking submissions for a special issue on governance in India.  Authors selected for the special issue will also participate in a symposium at the Jindal School of Public Policy in Delhi in October 2014.  Papers will also be published in the Jindal Journal of Public Policy.  This project is also co-sponsored by the Walker Institute at the University of South Carolina.  More details here.