News from Governance 4 January 2016
An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions

Co-Editors  Alasdair S. Roberts and Robert H. Cox   Book Review Editor  Clay Wescott 
Migration: Unilateralism is putting lives at risk
International migration, Susan F. Martin says in a new commentary for Governance, is "one of the most salient but poorly managed issues on the twenty-first policy agenda."  Why? Because governments persist in pursuing unilateral solutions to "a transnational issue that requires multilateral approaches."  National leaders need to negotiate stronger agreements about the allocation of responsibilities for managing the international movement of people.  And the United Nations' institutional capabilities need to be overhauled.  Such reforms, says Martin, "could help save millions of lives."   Free access to the commentary .
When do cap-and-trade programs survive?
Climate change is an "urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies."  So said national leaders at the Paris climate conference three weeks ago.  But it has proved difficult to design durable programs to control greenhouse gas emissions.  In the current issue of GovernanceBarry Rabe observes that half of the U.S. states that made formal commitments to cap-and-trade programs by the end of 2008 had abandoned those commitments by 2013.  Rabe identifies three features that explain why some commitments persisted: political resilience, administrative flexibility, and the capacity to produce demonstrable benefits that sustain constituency support.   Open access to the article .
How China manages capitalism for its own purposes
When Margaret Thatcher and Deng Xiaoping rose to leadership positions in 1978-79,British GDP was 2.5 times larger than Chinese GDP.  By 2014, Chinese GDP was 3.5 times larger than British GDP.  In the current issue of Governance, Roselyn Hsueh  examines the institutional foundations of China's capitalist transformation.  Too often, says Hsueh, researchers have emphasized a "unidirectional transition toward a market economy."  However there are important differences between sectors.  Strategically important sectors are shaped by "calibrated state interventions" including state ownership and restrictions on foreign investment.  Hsueh says that China is pursuing a model of "bifurcated capitalism."   Read the article .

Hsueh also discusses her article on the  Washington Post 's Monkey Cage blog. "Chinese-style capitalism," Hsueh says, "involves two primary components."  Read the Monkey Cage article.  Also: read Governance's 2012 review of Hsueh's book, China's Regulatory State. Read the review.
Roundtable: What NPM accomplished in the UK
The current issue of Governance features a roundtable on A Government That Worked Better And Cost Less? by Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon.  The book recently received the Brownlow Award from the U.S. National Academy of Public Administration.  "This is an important book," says Per Laegreid. "An important implication is that public sector organizations cannot just copy private sector management tools and organizational forms and expect successful results."  Read his review.   NPM "was sold to the world as science-based 'best practice," write Demetrios Argyriades and Pan Suk Kim. "After three decades, a new book has come to prick the bubble."  Read their review.   But Nancy Roberts suggests that the book may overstate the "level of conceptual clarity or agreement" about what NPM actually involved.  Read her review.