News from Governance 25.02.13
An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions

Co-Editors  Alasdair S. Roberts and Robert H. Cox  Book Review Editor  Clay Wescott 
Fighting corruption: Civil society needs press freedom
The idea that a strong civil society helps to fight corruption has become a cornerstone of of governance policy.  But is it true?  In the current issue of Governance, Nuno Themudo of the University of Pittsburgh looks more closely at the conditions that make it possible for civil society to resist corruption.  Themudo argues that press freedom "is critical in civil society efforts to generate pressure against corrupt officials. . . . Civil society strength has no significant impact on corruption in countries with less press freedom."  He finds "robust empirical support" for this claim.  Free access to the article.
"Reorganization fever" in Norway and France
Both Norway and France have been "afflicted with reorganization fever," Philippe Bezes, Anne Lise Fimreite, Patrick Le Lidec and Per Laegreid argue in the current issue of Governance.  But the two countries pursued different kinds of organizational redesign projects: "French reforms have recently become more radical and comprehensive, while the Norwegian reforms are more hesitant."  The authors show the limitations of simplistic arguments about the influence of international trends, such as NPM or post-NPM models.  Reform paths are the product of "specific combinations" of political strategies, external pressures and institutional constraints in each country.  Free access to the article.
Book reviews: Russia, pandemics, local economic development, and governing fables


In the current issue of Governance, Thomas Remington of Emory University reviews State Building in Putin's Russia by Brian D. Taylor of Syracuse University.  Taylor "offers a valuable overview of the impact of President Putin in his first two terms," Remington says. Free access to the review

Milosz Miszczynski of Jagiellonian University reviews Local Economies and Global Competitiveness, edited by Bruno Dallago and Chiara Gugliemetti.  The volume, a collaborate project by thirty-three economists, examines "different dimensions of local economic development around the world," Miszczynski says.  "The academic level of all the contributions is very high."  Free access to the review.

Richard French reviews Governing Fables: Learning from Public Sector Narratives by Sandford Borins of the University of Toronto.  "Not your father's public management book," French concludes.  "It is instead a highly original and absorbing analysis of the images of public management, policy, and politics constructed by the popular entertainment media."  Free access to the review.

Elaine Wee-Ling Ooi of the World Bank reviews Pandemics and Peace by William J. Long of Georgia State University:  "The resurgence of deadly infectious diseases in our increasingly connected world requires an integrated and global approach to preventing their spread. This is a timely book and an important contribution to examining the forces that shape international cooperation in health."  Free access to the review.


New book on the "third globalization"

The Third Globalization: Can Wealthy Nations Stay Rich in the Twenty-First Century? edited by Dan Breznitz of the Georgia Institute of Technology and John Zysman of University of California-Berkeley has just published by Oxford University Press. Zysman and Breznitz thank Governance and participants in its 2009 symposium on the financial crisis for creating "the intellectual forum in which we could first present and develop the concept of the State in a Double Bind."  More details about the book.