August 25, 2016

SOG is the IPSA Research Committee on the Structure and Organization of Government.  It has been the academic sponsor of the journal Governance  since its creation by SOG in 1988.    Learn more.
Why the history of frontier states still matters today
Present-day state capacities can be shaped profoundly by historical processes of state formation.  In the current issue of Governance , Roberto Stefan Foa and Anna Nemirovskaya examine how the distinctive histories of "frontier states" -- like the United States, Canada, Russia and Brazil -- influence state capacities today.  "Frontier zones have ongoing lower levels of public order and public goods provision," the authors find.  They explain why settlers resisted attempts to impose governance over frontier regions, opting instead for lower fiscal capacity and more limited provision of public goods.  Read the article .
How instrument constituencies promote solutions 
Instrument constituencies shaped the pension privatization debate.
In the current issue of
Governance, Daniel Béland and Michael Howlett explore the process by which policy goals are matched with policy solutions.  An important type of actor in this process is the "instrument constituency" -- a group that is dedicated to the promotion of a particular kind of solution, regardless of problem context.  Béland and Howlett use cross-sectoral and cross-national case studies to demonstrate the usefulness of this new concept in explaining the dynamics of the policy process.  
Read the article
Hadden wins Levine Book Prize
The Levine Book Prize for books published in 2015 has been awarded to Jennifer Hadden for her book Networks in Contention: The Divisive Politics of Climate Change.  The prize committee says that the book "makes a contribution of great academic and policy significance" about civil society organizations' choice of mobilization strategies on climate change.   Read more about the committee's decision.  Hadden is an assistant professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland.  
Wiley increases open access charge to $3,300
Wiley, the publisher of Governance, has advised the editors that the Article Publication Charge (APC) for authors wishing to publish Open Access will increase from $3,000 to $3,300 in September.  This change will not impact authors who have already signed a license to publish in the journal.  Wiley states that t he APC covers the cost of publishing (i.e. copyediting, typesetting, hosting online on a highly-trafficked platform).
Book reviews: Blood oil, China's civil service
In the current issue of Governance, Frank Vogl reviews Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World by Leif Wenar.  Vogl says that the book "builds a compelling case for a trade boycott on oil, gas, gold, and other mineral exports from some 30 nations run by corrupt regimes."   Read the review.

And Lina Vyas reviews Governing Civil Service Pay in China by Alfred M. Wu.   Wu "offers an incisive examination of how the government has attempted to shape a contemporary civil service system that in turn would improve state capacity and government legitimacy," Vyas says.   Read the review.
SOG seeks new editorial team for SOG
The IPSA Research Committee on the Structure and Organization of Government (SOG), the academic sponsor of  Governance  is looking for a new editorial team. The current editorial team of Alasdair Roberts and Robert Cox will complete their term in December 2017. More information is available here. Interested scholars should contact Professor Martin Lodge at  According to Journal Citation Reports, Governance is ranked #2 in public administration and #5 in political science internationally.  It is the only journal in the world that is ranked in the top five in both fields.
Aberbach and Laegreid receive Kloeti award
Jan Meyer-Sahling introduces a SOG panel at IPSA meeting in Poznan, Poland in July
SOG organized several sessions at the IPSA meeting in Poznan, Poland in July.   See the list of sessions.  It was announced that Joel Aberbach and  Per Laegreid have been awarded the Ulrich Kloeti award to acknowledge their long service to SOG and the field of governance research. Joel and Per have served SOG for many years, especially in their roles as co-chair and treasurer. There will be a formal award ceremony during the forthcoming SOG workshop in Gothenburg in summer 2017.
How Brexit affects Britain's civil service
On LSE's "British Politics and Policy" blog, Dave Richards and Martin Smith discuss the impact of Brexit on Britain's civil service.   Read their comment.  They draw extensively on a Governance article now available online