Investigations Done Right and Wrong: Government by Investigation, 1945-2012
Brookings Institution Press, 2013.
Surveying the 100 most significant Congressional and presidential investigations of executive branch breakdowns between 1945 and 2012, Paul Light offers insight into those qualities that compose an “investigation done right.” Light’s research provides data into the quantity and quality of investigatory efforts in the modern era, as well as what these patterns reveal about what investigators can do to increase the odds that their work will pay off in improved government performance and more effective public policy.
Green Growth in the Post-Copenhagen Climate
Energy Policy 39(11)
Maria Damon and Thomas Sterner
Global climate change stands out from most environmental problems because it will span generations and force us to think in new ways about intergenerational fairness. It involves the delicate problem of complex coordination between countries on a truly global scale. As long as fossil fuels are too cheap, climate change policy will engage all major economies. The costs are high enough to make efficiency a priority, which means striving toward a single market for carbon—plus tackling the thorny issues of fairness.
Hopes for a grand deal were mercilessly shattered at Copenhagen in December 2009 and in other recent UNFCCC meetings, with the result that “green growth” is promoted as an alternative path. Indeed, green growth is clearly the goal, but it is no magic bullet. The world economy will require clear and rather tough policy instruments for growth to be green—and it is naïve to think otherwise. Growth, green or not, will boost demand for energy and coal is normally the cheapest source. The magnitude of the challenge is greater if we also consider the problems related to nuclear (fission) energy and, in some instances, to bioenergy (such as its competition for land that may be essential for the poor). This paper discusses some necessary ingredients for a long-term global climate strategy. As we wait for the final (and maybe elusive) worldwide treaty, we must find a policy that makes sense and is not only compatible with, but facilitates the development of such a treaty.
Government by Investigation: Congress, President, and the Search for Answers, 1945–2012
The Brookings Institution Press, 2013.
Presidential and congressional investigations are particularly powerful tools for asking tough questions about highly visible, often complex government breakdowns, including: communist infiltration of government 1950s, the Vietnam War during the 1960s, Watergate and Central Intelligence Agency abuses during the 1970s, among 96 others covered in Government by Investigation, by Paul Light. Light, one of America’s premier authorities on public service and management, provides a deep assessment of what he has identified as the federal government’s one hundred most significant investigations since World War II.
Integrated Policymaking for Sustainable Development: An operational manual
United Nations Environment Program, Geneva
Fritzen, Scott., Howlett, M., Ramesh M., Wu, X.
Donors, local development groups and institutional reform over Vietnam's development decade
in Kerkvliet, B.J., Heng, R.H.K. and Hock, D.K.W. (eds.), Getting organized in Vietnam: Moving in and around the socialist state, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, pp. 234-270.
International donors have attempted to contribute to, and indeed influence, the overall tenor of socioeconomic and governance-related reforms in Vietnam. They have done so in a number of ways: directly supporting policy research, stablishing forums for debate of developmental issues with government counterparts, funding projects on administrative and judiciary reform and central level capacity building, and providing direct financial and sometimes indirect support for ‘indigenous’ NGOs, primarily development service organizations working as contractors for particular development projects. This paper examines another modality through which donors sought to influence administrative reform over the heady ‘development decade’ of the 1990s – donor support for rural development projects conceived as ‘policy experiments’ (Rondinelli 1983). Though diverse in sectoral focus, these projects commonly attempted to introduce local institutional arrangements promoting greater responsiveness and accountability of local governments to rural communities as a whole, or to particular sub-groups such as smallholder farmers. To do so, local organizations or grassroots groups were typically established as new ways of organizing the rural populace to demand, plan for, access or provide services underpinning rural development and poverty alleviation. “Local development groups” (LDGs) is the name I give to groups comprised of farmers and other end-users of project services (or representatives they choose) that were formed in the process of implementing particular development projects. This paper probes the experience of these development projects and LDGs over approximately the last ten years. It depicts how projects funded by a wide range of donors became an important part of the institutional landscape in many areas of Vietnam, leaving a significant mark on many sectors related to rural development. Five sections follow this introduction. The first examines how changing donor roles interacted with institutional developments to produce an opportunity for projects to influence policy. Section two presents a theoretical framework with which to assess LDGs and the policy experiments in which they were embedded, which section three applies the framework to a sample of 15 donor projects operational over the 1990s in Vietnam. Section four presents more qualitative detail on a few of the higher-impact projects. The final section concludes with implications for donors and the study of local institutional change in Vietnam.
Bureaucrats and Politicians in Southeast Asia
Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy, (ed: J. Rabin), New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc., (online and forthcoming in the second edition print edition, 2007), 9 pp.
Growth with equity over Vietnam’s economic transition: A political economy perspective
Economic Dynamics of Asia in the New Millennium, Singapore: World Scientific, pp. 367-399.
Probing system limits: Decentralisation and local political accountability in Vietnam,
Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration 28(1): 1-24.
Decentralization occupies an important space in debates over public-sector reform in doi moi Vietnam. This paper assesses the changing distribution of roles, responsibilities and resources across levels of government over the past decade. Vietnam is incrementally transfering greater administrative and fiscal responsibilities to the provincial level. In addition, the Communist Party is attempting to prevent local corruption through a much touted “grassroots democratization” initiative. Yet such moves towards decentralization, however cautious, are problematic in terms of their bureacratic politics and potential impacts on poverty. Incentives for bureacratic actors and local leaders to transfer meaningful control downwards are weak or non-existent within the current governance structure, which centralizes political power and emphasizes hierarchical, sectoral controls over decision-making and resources. And decentralization trends are exacerbating the weak administrative and fiscal capacities of poorer provinces, threatening to reinforce rather than reduce Vietnam’s widening regional and rural-urban disparities. A more proactice role for the center in redistributing resources, providing technical support and establishing a facilitative policy framework will be crucial if decentralization is to contribute towards improved socioeconomic outcomes in Vietnam’s poorest regions.
Can the design of community-driven development reduce the risk of elite capture? Evidence from Indonesia
World Development 35(8): 1359-1375.
Community-Driven Development (CDD) projects have motivated both large amounts of funding from international development agencies and a number of general critiques centering on the potential susceptibility of decentralized projects to local elite capture. Drawing on case analysis and surveys fielded in 250 Indonesian sub-districts, this paper subjects the design logic of a CDD project to close empirical testing. Results suggest that while CDD projects can help create spaces for a broader range of elite and non-elite community leaders to emerge, elite control of project decision-making is pervasive. However, its effects can be influenced by project-initiated accountability arrangements, such as democratic leadership selection.
The Complicated Impact of One Person, One Vote on Political Competition and Representation
North Carolina Law Review, 80(4): 1299-1352
Persily, Nathaniel A., Thad Kousser and Patrick J. Egan.
Public Opinion and Constitutional Controversy
Oxford University Press.
Persily, Nathaniel, Jack Citrin and Patrick J. Egan, eds.
American politics is most notably characterized by the heated debates on constitutional interpretation at the core of its ever-raging culture wars, and the coverage of these lingering disputes is often inundated with public-opinion polls. Yet for all their prominence in contemporary society, there has never been an all-inclusive, systematic study of public opinion and how it impacts the courts and electoral politics. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of American public opinion on the key constitutional controversies of the 20th century, including desegregation, school prayer, abortion, the death penalty, affirmative action, gay rights, assisted suicide, and national security, to name just a few. With chapters focusing on each issue in-depth, the book utilizes public-opinion data to illustrate these contemporary debates, methodically examining each one and how public attitudes have shifted over time, especially in the wake of prominent Supreme Court decisions. The chapters join the “popular constitutionalism” debate between those who advocate a dominant role for courts in constitutional adjudication and those who prefer a more pluralized constitutional discourse. Each chapter also details the gap between the public and the Supreme Court on these hotly contested issues and analyzes how and why this divergence of opinion has grown or shrunk over the last fifty years.
Beyond Entitlement: The Social Obligations of Citizenship
Free Press, 1986.
Mead, Lawrence M.
The New Politics of Poverty: The Nonworking Poor in America
Basic Books, 1992.
Mead, Lawrence M.
Government Matters: Welfare Reform in Wisconsin
Princeton University Press, 2004.
Mead, Lawrence M.
The 2013 Federal Budget's Impact on Communities of Color and Low-Income Families
Women of Color Policy Network
The Obama administration's budget proposal for fiscal year 2013 (FY 2013) strengthens the national economy by investing in schools, communities and safety net programs. The FY 2013 budget also includes a number of important investments in infrastructure that will spur much needed job growth in a time of economic uncertainty for many working and low-income families. It is critical that such investments take into account the persistently high unemployment in communities of color, and target spending to increase the economic security of the communities most impacted by the "Great Recession." Additionally, the budget includes important changes to the tax code that will lay the foundation for a fairer and more equitable economy.
Six Countries, Six Reform Models: The healthcare reform experience of Israel, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and Taiwan: Healthcare Reforms "Under the Radar Screen"
JAMA. 2010; Vol. 304, No. 18: 2,070-2,071
Institutions and Fiscal Sustainability
National Tax Journal 63 (4): 807–838.
As budgetary commitments outpace current revenues and long-term liabilities balloon, the fiscal sustainability of state and local governments is a matter of mounting concern. Over the years, these governments have experimented with a wide variety of political and fiscal institutions, ranging from direct democracy to balanced budget rules, with the goal of slowing the growth of government and increasing financial responsibility. This article synthesizes the related empirical literature, summarizing what we know (and don’t know) about the effectiveness of various rules and procedures in promoting fiscal sustainability.
Strengthening of Monitoring and Evaluation Systems in Latin America: Analysis of 12 Countries
Portugese Translation of Spanish Original Venezzuela: Editorial Texto, C.A With N.Cunhill
In Political and Civic Leadership. Edr., R. Couto. Vol II. Thousand Oaks: Sage (Second Author with W. El Hadidy and A Hofman-Pinilla
Siting, Spillovers, and Segregation: A Re-examination of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program
In Edward Glaeser and John Quigley, Eds. Housinmg Markets and the Economy: Risk, Regulation, Policy; Essays in Honor of Karl Case. Cambridge, Mass: Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, pp. 233-267.
Ingrid Ellen, Katherine O'Regan, Ioan Voicu
The timing of this volume could not be more opportune. It is based on a 2007 conference to honor the work of Karl "Chip" Case, who is renowned for his scientific contributions to the economics of housing and public policy. The chapters analyze risk in the housing market, the regulation of housing markets by government, and other issues in U.S. housing policy. Chapters investigate derivative markets; the role that home equity insurance can play in reducing risk; the role that the regulation of government-sponsored enterprises has played in extending credit to home purchasers in low-income neighborhoods; and the growth in the market for subprime mortgages. The impact of local zoning regulations on housing prices and new construction is also considered. This is a must read during a time of restructuring our nation’s system of housing finance.