News from Governance August 26, 2013
An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions

Co-Editors  Alasdair S. Roberts and Robert H. Cox  Book Review Editor  Clay Wescott 
Below: Fukuyama, Rothstein discuss governance at APSA

How states retain control: Delegation in the European Union


EC Legislators always have mixed feelings about delegation.  They want the benefits of expertise, but fear loss of control over policy decisions.  In the current issue of Governance, Jens Blom-Hansen examines how this tension is managed in European Union.  One technique is the use of "comitology" committees comprised of member state representatives, charged with oversight of bodies exercising delegated powers.  But comitology committees vary in authority.  What determines the variation?  Blom-Hansen examines almost seven hundred EU directives and regulations adopted between 1999 and 2006.  He demonstrates that comitology control is largely determined by the degree of institutional conflict over content of policy, as well as the complexity of the issue at hand.  Read the article.
How states retain control: Delegation in international environmental law

States often delegate authority over responses to environmental problems to international organizations -- but there is variation in when and how that delegation is done.  In the current issue of Governance, Jessica F. Green and Jeff Colgan explain that states "make this decision with care."  Then tend to delegate functions with lower sovereignty costs (such as monitoring rather than rulemaking) and are more likely to delegate when policy preferences among states are heterogeneous.  "States remain firmly in control," Green and Colgan conclude, "deciding how they will permit other actors to help them govern and delegating authority only in those instances."  Read the article.
Overestimating the shift from government to governance in Swiss metropolitan areas

It's commonly accepted that public sector reforms in Western democracies have caused a shift from government to governance.  But Philippe Koch argues in the current issue of Governance that reform in Swiss metropolitan areas in the latter half of the twentieth century did not follow this trend. Instead, reforms usually traced "a path to government" -- either through the shift of powers from local to metropolitan authorities, or from general purpose to task-specific jurisdictions.  "Network governance," Koch concludes, "seems to be a step within the process of metropolitan governance reform rather than the final result of it." Read the article.
Fukuyama on "What is governance?"


  On the website of The American Interest, Francis Fukuyama continues the dialogue on What is governance?, his commentary in the April issue of Governance.  "Many of the comments made on the Governance web site criticized my effort to restrict my focus to implementation," Fukuyama says.  "However, once you start incorporating substantive views of the ends of government into your discussion of government quality, you widen your field of view so dramatically as to lose sight of the problem of implementation."  Read more.

Fukuyama and Bo Rothstein continue the discussion during a session at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, this Saturday at 8:00AM, with Melissa Lee and Nan ZhangDetails here.

And in the July issue of Journal of Democracy, Donald K. Emmerson mentions Kishore Mahbubani's response to Fukuyama on the Governance blog, as part of a broader review of Mahbubani's work.  Read the article.  Emmerson also notes a response to Mahbubani's Governance contribution by Ng Kok Lim.  Read the response.
Book reviews: global financial governance, regional security

Elson "One of the few positive consequences of the global financial crisis," Randall Germain writes in the current issue of Governance, "has been a broad upsurge in interest in the broad problem of financial governance at the global level.  Germain reviews Governing Global Finance by Anthony Elson.  Elson successfully outlines the technical challenges of global financial governance, German says, but needs "to engage more fully with the political dynamics at work" in this area.  Read the review.

Kai Chen reviews The Security Governance of Regional Organizations, edited by Emil Joseph Kirchner and Roberto Dom´┐ŻnguezThe book provides a comparative study of ten regional security organizations and is a "valuable contribution to the study of security governance," Chen concludes. Read the review.