News from Governance August 24, 2014
An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions

Co-Editors  Alasdair S. Roberts and Robert H. Cox  Book Review Editor  Clay Wescott 
How governments use control signals to manage immigration tensions
Offshore detention center on Australia's Christmas Island
Detention center, Christmas Island
In many countries, there is widespread public pressure for tighter immigration controls.  But key constituencies also want more liberal rules for certain kinds of immigrants, like skilled workers.  In the current issue of Governance, Chris Wright examines how Australia's government manages this conflict.  It uses "control signals to draw attention to their successful efforts at controlling unwanted forms of immigration," Wright says.  "This proved to be a critical factor in its later success in permitting entry to large numbers of skilled workers."  Read the article.
Policy bubbles: How they grow and why they matter

"One of the most common mistakes" in policymaking "revolves around using the popularity of a policy as an indirect measure of its worth," Moshe Maor says in the current issue of Governance.  This can encourage herd behavior and the growth of "policy bubbles" -- a policy overreaction that builds over time, until it eventually bursts.  Maor develops the concept and explains how it challenges ideas about the rationality of policymaking.  Read the article.  Maor also discusses his article in a recent post on London School of Economics' British Politics and Policy blog.
Measuring state quality: It's all settled, then.


Just joking. In a commentary published in Governance last year, Francis Fukuyama warned against using outputs as measures of government quality.  Read the commentary.  In the current issue of Governance, Robert Rotberg disagrees, arguing against the proposition that we can gauge the quality of governance without looking at actual effectiveness in service delivery.  Read the research note.  And Craig Boardman concurs with Rotberg, showing how it is possible to assess policy outcomes in "national mission areas."  Read the research note.  But Nick Manning and Jordan Holt side with Fukuyama, in a research note just published on Governance Early View.  "Fukuyama is right about measuring state quality," Manning and Holt say.  "State capacity is best measured by focusing on internal measures rather than what government achieves."  They offer concrete suggestions on next steps. Read the research note.
Book reviews: financial management, public participation


In the current issue of Governance, Allen Schick reviews The International Handbook of Public Financial Management, edited by Richard Allen, Richard Hemming, and Barry Potter. "The handbook is forthright in describing the many reforms that have energized PFM practices in recent decades," Schick says.  But "By their disregard of politics, almost all of the Handbook's dream team of authors purges PFM of political content and influence." Read the review.

And Alvin Camba reviews Participatory Governance in the EU, by Karl-Oskar Lindgren and Thomas Persson.  The book uses a case study of chemical regulation to determine whether civil society participation enhances the formation of a democratic EU.  There are difficulties with argumentation and evidence, Camba says.  Still, "this is a fresh and timely contribution to the governance literature."  Read the review.
SOG has successful meeting at IPSA World Congress


The IPSA Research Committee on Structure and Organization of Government (SOG), the academic sponsor of Governance, held ten panels during the 23rd IPSA World Congress 2014 that took place in Montreal, Qu�bec, Canada on 19-24 July. See details about the panels here.  Around sixty participants including chairs, paper givers and discussants, presented their on-going work and communications. The event took place in the Palais des Congr�s of Montreal in the City Center and a SOG diner was organized on 22 July.