News from Governance January 5, 2015
An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions

Co-Editors  Alasdair S. Roberts and Robert H. Cox  Book Review Editor  Clay Wescott 
Which first: State capacity or democracy?
Voters in India, 2014
Conventional wisdom says that a sound and functioning state has to be in place before democracy can be introduced.  The possibility that democratization might contribute to state-building "has hardly been addressed in empirical research," Giovanni Carbone and Vincenzo Memoli argue in the current issue of Governance.  Their findings?  More democratic countries are more likely to develop stronger and more effective states.  Countries that reach and sustain a certain level of democratization are particularly likely to realize the benefits of a well-developed state.  "Our findings have evident policy implications," Carbone and Memoli say.  "Authoritarian rulers do not make better 'state consolidators'."   Read the article.
WaPo: How myth of IMF orthodoxy was dispelled


The Washington Post's Monkey Cage has published a oped by Cornel Ban and Kevin Gallagher on their forthcoming special issue in Governance, which considers how the International Monetary Fund learned from the Global Financial Crisis. Ban and Gallagher say that the crisis has challenged "the myth of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a global agent of economic orthodoxy."  Read the Monkey Cage oped
International organizations are flexible after all


In a web-only comment for Governance, Daniel B´┐Żland and Mitchell Orenstein draw bigger lessons from the forthcoming special issue on the IMF, as well as their own work on the World Bank.  These organizations "differ significantly from ideologically-driven organizations or networks," they say.  "In fact, these international organizations are 'open systems' that are subject to a wide range of influences in a complex international political economy. . . Some of these influences catalyze important changes."  Read the comment.
Book reviews: The failings of democracy, and public-private partnerships
In the current issue of Governance, Alasdair Roberts reviews Breaking Democracy's Spell by John Dunn.  Dunn renders "a harsh judgment on Western democracies . . . But there are reasons to think why it might not be fair."  Read the review

And Kai Chen of Zhejang University reviews The Routledge Companion to Public-Private Partnerships, edited by Piet de Vries and Etienne Yehoue.  "This compelling and thought-provoking volume is an excellent addition to the literature on public-private partnerships."  Read the review.
Call for papers: Quality of governance in China


The School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University will host a conference on governance in China on October 16-17, 2015.  The meeting "seeks to explain China's recent decades of development by exploring its changing institutional structures and its ability to accommodate multiple and sometimes conflicting demands in a period of rapid transition."  The conference is co-sponsored by GovernanceRead the call for papers.