News from Governance 17 December 2013
An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions

Co-Editors  Alasdair S. Roberts and Robert H. Cox  Book Review Editor  Clay Wescott 
Can political scientists help to close the expectations gap?
Mind The Gap In the spring of 2014, it will have been forty years since Trilateral Commission set up the task force that wrote the influential report, The Crisis of Democracy.  In the new issue of Governance, Matthew Flinders of the University of Sheffield says that report "continues to hit a contemporary chord."  Politics in the twenty-first century, he argues, is distinguished by "pessimism about the future of democracy."  Read the commentary.

The underlying problem is the persistent gap between the public's demand for public services and the capacity of politicians to supply those services.  In the twentieth century, the "default option" of politicians was to close that gap by increasing supply.  Today, that option is "simply not viable."  The only way of closing the gap will be by reducing unrealistic public expectations.  Political scientists can contribute to this work, Flinders says.  But to do that, they must do a better job of engaging in public debate.  Political science, he argues, "has become increasingly irrelevant within the social and political sphere."   Watch Matthew Flinders discuss his commentary on YouTube.
Journals collaborate on virtual issue about China


Governance has collaborated with three other journals -- Public Administration, Regulation & Governance, and Public Administration Review -- to produce a virtual issue on China.   Go to the virtual issue.  The virtual issue includes articles from Governance written by Clara Garcia, Nele Noesselt, and Zhengxu Wang and Weina Dai.
In memoriam: Bidhya Bowornwathana
In the current issue of Governance, Colin Campbell of the University of British Columbia remembers Bidhya Bowornwathana of Thailand's Chulalongkorn University, who passed away in August 2013.  Bowornwathana was a "deeply committed and much loved member" of the IPSA Structure and Organization of Government Research Committee, which is the academic sponsor of Governance.  Campbell says that he also "exemplified dedication to the principle" that scholarly research should be closely connected to the actual practice of governance.  Free access to the note.
Pakistan's Dawn discusses Fukuyama article


In Pakistan's Dawn newspaper, Arif Asad discusses What is Governance? by Francis Fukuyama, published by Governance in March 2013.  Fukuyama's article emphasizes "the expansion of the autonomy of bureaucracy if good governance is to be achieved," Asad says.  "This is fraught with danger in countries where party-based political systems are weak and where military dictatorship has ruled for a long time."  Read the Dawn article.
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.