News from Governance May 2, 2014
An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions

Co-Editors  Alasdair S. Roberts and Robert H. Cox  Book Review Editor  Clay Wescott 
How will public policy studies change in the Asian Century?


The Economist reports this week that China will displace the United States as the world's largest economy in 2014 -- perhaps more evidence of the onset of the Asian Century.  What implications does this have for the study of public policy?  Sara Bice and Helen Sullivan of the Melbourne School of Government address this question in a working draft of a forthcoming Governance commentary.  Scholars "must question taken-for-granted constructs underpinning the discipline," they argue.  Read more and comment here.  The commentary will be discussed at a roundtable session at the Melbourne School of Government on May 20.  Learn more and RSVP here.
New Zealand's revolution, 30 years later


Prime Minister
David Lange, 1984
July 2014 will mark the thirtieth anniversary of the election that brought the Labour Party led by David Lange to power in New Zealand.  That election triggered public sector reforms that were emulated around the world.  The July issue of Governance will feature a commentary on the long-term consequences of those reforms written by Chris Eichbaum and Jonathan Boston of the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington.  They will discuss their commentary at a breakfast meeting in Rutherford House in Wellington on May 14 from 7:45am to 9am.   RSVP by email.
For Danish civil servants, survival odds get worse
The risk of replacement for top civil servants in Danish central and local government has increased dramatically over the last forty years.  But what is driving this change?  In the current issue of GovernanceJ�rgen Gronnegard Christensen, Robert Klemmensen and Niels Opstrup examine four decades of data about senior appointments to determine whether the trend toward increasing politicization found in some western countries also holds for the Danish civil service.  They find evidence of "functional politicization": a practice of replacing career civil servants who do not meet the demands of political executives with other career civil servants.  Read the article.
Why transparency doesn't always reduce corruption
The conventional wisdom among government reformers is that transparency is a crucial device for improving accountability and reducing corruption.  But the device doesn't always work.  In the current issue of Governance, Monika Bauhr and Marcia Grimes of the University of Gothenburg show that an increase in transparency in highly corrupt countries tends to breed resignation, rather than indignation over corruption. Bauhr and Grimes explain how our understanding of the link between transparency and corruption control "remains more anchored in normative conviction . . . than empirical investigation." Read the article
Government blunders, development and politics, and automobile emissions
In the current issue of Governance, Matthew Flinders of the University of Sheffield reviews The Blunders of Our Governments by Anthony King and Ivor Crewe.  It is an entertaining review of the "�ber-blunders of British government" between the 1980s and 2010, says Flinders.  "The problem . . . is that this book arguably fails to engage with the challenges of governing in those decades."  Read the review.

Kim Moloney of Kyung Hee University reviews Development Aid Confronts Politics by Thomas Carothers and Diane de Gramont: "An important contribution" aiming to "tip foreign aid policy choices toward more overtly political or democracy-encouraging objectives."  Read the review.

And Deborah Gallagher of Duke University reviews Smog Check: Federalism and the Politics of Clean Air by Douglas Eisinger.  It is "an engaging read that provides a unique perspective on a landmark environmental policy debate" over the regulation of automobile emissions.  Read the review.
Advice to authors updated
Governance has updated its advice to prospective authors.