Books

Lynching and Local Justice: Legitimacy and Accountability in Weak States

Citation:

Cohen, Dara Kay, and Danielle F. Jung. 2020. Lynching and Local Justice: Legitimacy and Accountability in Weak States. Cambridge University Press.
Lynching and Local Justice: Legitimacy and Accountability in Weak States

Abstract:

Dara Kay Cohen, Danielle F. Jung; September 2020 

What are the social and political consequences of poor state governance and low state legitimacy? Under what conditions does lynching – lethal, extralegal group violence to punish offenses to the community – become an acceptable practice? We argue lynching emerges when neither the state nor its challengers have a monopoly over legitimate authority. When authority is contested or ambiguous, mass punishment for transgressions can emerge that is public, brutal, and requires broad participation. Using new cross-national data, we demonstrate lynching is a persistent problem in dozens of countries over the last four decades. Drawing on original survey and interview data from Haiti and South Africa, we show how lynching emerges and becomes accepted. Specifically, support for lynching most likely occurs in one of three conditions: when states fail to provide governance, when non-state actors provide social services, or when neighbors must rely on self-help.

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Last updated on 09/17/2020

Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College?

 Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College?

Abstract:

Alexander Keyssar, July 2020

With every presidential election, Americans puzzle over the peculiar mechanism of the Electoral College. The author of the Pulitzer finalist The Right to Vote explains the enduring problem of this controversial institution.

Every four years, millions of Americans wonder why they choose their presidents through the Electoral College, an arcane institution that permits the loser of the popular vote to become president and narrows campaigns to swing states. Most Americans have long preferred a national popular vote, and Congress has attempted on many occasions to alter or scuttle the Electoral College. Several of these efforts—one as recently as 1970—came very close to winning approval. Yet this controversial system remains.

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The Hidden Face of Rights

The Hidden Face of Rights

Abstract:

Kathryn Sikkink, January 2020 

When we debate questions in international law, politics, and justice, we often use the language of rights—and far less often the language of responsibilities. Human rights scholars and activists talk about state responsibility for rights, but they do not articulate clear norms about other actors’ obligations. In this book, Kathryn Sikkink argues that we cannot truly implement human rights unless we also recognize and practice the corresponding human responsibilities.
 
Focusing on five areas—climate change, voting, digital privacy, freedom of speech, and sexual assault—and providing many examples of on-the-ground initiatives where people choose to embrace a close relationship between rights and responsibilities, Sikkink argues for the importance of responsibilities to any comprehensive understanding of political ethics and human rights.

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Legitimacy: The Right to Rule in a Wanton World

Citation:

Applbaum, Arthur Isak. 2019. Legitimacy: The Right to Rule in a Wanton World. Harvard University Press.
Legitimacy: The Right to Rule in a Wanton World

Abstract:

Arthur Applbaum, Harvard University Press, November 2019 

What makes a government legitimate? The dominant view is that public officials have the right to rule us, even if they are unfair or unfit, as long as they gain power through procedures traceable to the consent of the governed. In this rigorous and timely study, Arthur Isak Applbaum argues that adherence to procedure is not enough: even a properly chosen government does not rule legitimately if it fails to protect basic rights, to treat its citizens as political equals, or to act coherently.

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Last updated on 02/18/2020

Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism

Citation:

Norris, Pippa, and Ronald Inglehart. 2019. Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism. Cambridge University Press.
Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism

Abstract:

Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart, Cambridge University Press, February 2019

Authoritarian populist parties have advanced in many countries, and entered government in states as diverse as Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland. Even small parties can still shift the policy agenda, as demonstrated by UKIP's role in catalyzing Brexit. Drawing on new evidence, this book advances a general theory why the silent revolution in values triggered a backlash fuelling support for Authoritarian-Populist parties and leaders in the US and Europe. The conclusion highlights the dangers of this development and what could be done to mitigate the risks to liberal democracy.

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Last updated on 01/24/2020

Alan Brinkley: A Life in History

Citation:

Greenberg, David, Moshik Temkin, and Mason B. Williams. 2019. Alan Brinkley: A Life in History.
Alan Brinkley: A Life in History

Abstract:

David Greenberg, Moshik Temkin, and Mason B. Williams; Columbia University Press; January 2019

Few American historians of his generation have had as much influence in both the academic and popular realms as Alan Brinkley. His debut work, the National Book Award–winning Voices of Protest, launched a storied career that considered the full spectrum of American political life. His books give serious and original treatments of populist dissent, the role of mass media, the struggles of liberalism and conservatism, and the powers and limits of the presidency. A longtime professor at Harvard University and Columbia University, Brinkley has shaped the field of U.S. history for generations of students through his textbooks and his mentorship of some of today’s foremost historians. Alan Brinkley: A Life in History brings together essays on his major works and ideas, as well as personal reminiscences from leading historians and thinkers beyond the academy whom Brinkley collaborated with, befriended, and influenced. 

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Deep Roots: How Slavery Still Shapes Southern Politics

Citation:

Acharya, Avidit, Matthew Blackwell, and Maya Sen. 2018. Deep Roots: How Slavery Still Shapes Southern Politics. Princeton University Press.
Deep Roots: How Slavery Still Shapes Southern Politics

Abstract:

Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell & Maya Sen, Princeton University Press, 2018 

Despite dramatic social transformations in the United States during the last 150 years, the South has remained staunchly conservative. Southerners are more likely to support Republican candidates, gun rights, and the death penalty, and southern whites harbor higher levels of racial resentment than whites in other parts of the country. Why haven't these sentiments evolved or changed? Deep Roots shows that the entrenched political and racial views of contemporary white southerners are a direct consequence of the region's slaveholding history, which continues to shape economic, political, and social spheres. Today, southern whites who live in areas once reliant on slavery—compared to areas that were not—are more racially hostile and less amenable to policies that could promote black progress. 

Highlighting the connection between historical institutions and contemporary political attitudes, the authors explore the period following the Civil War when elite whites in former bastions of slavery had political and economic incentives to encourage the development of anti-black laws and practices. Deep Roots shows that these forces created a local political culture steeped in racial prejudice, and that these viewpoints have been passed down over generations, from parents to children and via communities, through a process called behavioral path dependence. While legislation such as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act made huge strides in increasing economic opportunity and reducing educational disparities, southern slavery has had a profound, lasting, and self-reinforcing influence on regional and national politics that can still be felt today.

A groundbreaking look at the ways institutions of the past continue to sway attitudes of the present, Deep Roots demonstrates how social beliefs persist long after the formal policies that created those beliefs have been eradicated.

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Party Systems in Latin America: Institutionalization, Decay, and Collapse

Party Systems in Latin America: Institutionalization, Decay, and Collapse

Abstract:

Scott Mainwaring, Cambridge University Press, February 2018

Based on contributions from leading scholars, this study generates a wealth of new empirical information about Latin American party systems. It also contributes richly to major theoretical and comparative debates about the effects of party systems on democratic politics, and about why some party systems are much more stable and predictable than others. Party Systems in Latin America builds on, challenges, and updates Mainwaring and Timothy Scully's seminal Building Democratic Institutions: Party Systems in Latin America (1995), which re-oriented the study of democratic party systems in the developing world. It is essential reading for scholars and students of comparative party systems, democracy, and Latin American politics. It shows that a stable and predictable party system facilitates important democratic processes and outcomes, but that building and maintaining such a party system has been the exception rather than the norm in contemporary Latin America.

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Last updated on 03/01/2020

The Fissured Workplace

Citation:

Weil, David. 2017. The Fissured Workplace. Harvard University Press, 424.
The Fissured Workplace

Abstract:

David Weil, Harvard University Press, May 2017

For much of the twentieth century, large companies employing many workers formed the bedrock of the U.S. economy. Today, on the list of big business’s priorities, sustaining the employer-worker relationship ranks far below building a devoted customer base and delivering value to investors. As David Weil’s groundbreaking analysis shows, large corporations have shed their role as direct employers of the people responsible for their products, in favor of outsourcing work to small companies that compete fiercely with one another. Weil proposes ways to modernize regulatory policies and laws so that employers can meet their obligations to workers while allowing companies to keep the beneficial aspects of this innovative business strategy.

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Last updated on 03/01/2020

Presidents’ Secrets: The Use and Abuse of Hidden Power

Citation:

Graham, Mary. 2017. Presidents’ Secrets: The Use and Abuse of Hidden Power. Yale University Press, 272.
Presidents’ Secrets: The Use and Abuse of Hidden Power

Abstract:

Mary Graham, Yale University Press, February 2017

Ever since the nation’s most important secret meeting—the Constitutional Convention—presidents have struggled to balance open, accountable government with necessary secrecy in military affairs and negotiations. For the first one hundred  and twenty years, a culture of open government persisted, but new threats and technology have long since shattered the old bargains. Today, presidents neither protect vital information nor provide the open debate Americans expect.
 
Mary Graham tracks the rise in governmental secrecy that began with surveillance and loyalty programs during Woodrow Wilson’s administration, explores how it developed during the Cold War, and analyzes efforts to reform the secrecy apparatus and restore oversight in the 1970s. Chronicling the expansion of presidential secrecy in the Bush years, Graham explains what presidents and the American people can learn from earlier crises, why the attempts of Congress to rein in stealth activities don’t work, and why presidents cannot hide actions that affect citizens’ rights and values.

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Social Policy Expansion in Latin America

Citation:

Garay, Candelaria. 2017. Social Policy Expansion in Latin America . Cambridge University Press.
Social Policy Expansion in Latin America

Abstract:

Candelaria Garay, Cambridge University Press, January 2017 

 

Throughout the twentieth century, much of the population in Latin America lacked access to social protection. Since the 1990s, however, social policy for millions of outsiders - rural, informal, and unemployed workers and dependents - has been expanded dramatically. Social Policy Expansion in Latin America shows that the critical factors driving expansion are electoral competition for the vote of outsiders and social mobilization for policy change. The balance of partisan power and the involvement of social movements in policy design explain cross-national variation in policy models, in terms of benefit levels, coverage, and civil society participation in implementation. The book draws on in-depth case studies of policy making in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico over several administrations and across three policy areas: health care, pensions, and income support. Secondary case studies illustrate how the theory applies to other developing countries.

 

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Democracy Reinvented: Participatory Budgeting and Civic Innovation in America

Democracy Reinvented: Participatory Budgeting and Civic Innovation in America

Abstract:

Hollie Russon Gilman, Brookings, 2016 

Democracy Reinvented is the first comprehensive academic treatment of participatory budgeting in the United States, situating it within a broader trend of civic technology and innovation. This global phenomenon, which has been called “revolutionary civics in action” by the New York Times, started in Brazil in 1989 but came to America only in 2009.  Participatory budgeting empowers citizens to identify community needs, work with elected officials to craft budget proposals, and vote on how to spend public funds.

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Last updated on 01/24/2020

The Arab Spring

Citation:

Brownlee, Jason, Tarek Masoud, and Andrew Reynolds. 2015. The Arab Spring . Oxford University Press.
The Arab Spring

Abstract:

Several years after the Arab Spring began, democracy remains elusive in the Middle East. The Arab Spring that resides in the popular imagination is one in which a wave of mass mobilization swept the broader Middle East, toppled dictators, and cleared the way for democracy. The reality is that few Arab countries have experienced anything of the sort. While Tunisia made progress towards some type of constitutionally entrenched participatory rule, the other countries that overthrew their rulers, Egypt, Yemen, and Libya remain mired in authoritarianism and instability. Elsewhere in the Arab world uprisings were suppressed, subsided, or never materialized. The Arab Spring's modest harvest cries out for explanation. Why did regime change take place in only four Arab countries and why has democratic change proved so elusive in the countries that made attempts? This book attempts to answer those questions. First, by accounting for the full range of variance: from the absence or failure of uprisings in such places as Algeria and Saudi Arabia at one end, to Tunisia's rocky but hopeful transition at the other. Second, by examining the deep historical and structure variables that determined the balance of power between incumbents and opposition. Brownlee, Masoud, and Reynolds find that the success of domestic uprisings depended on the absence of a hereditary executive and a dearth of oil rents. Structural factors also cast a shadow over the transition process. Even when opposition forces toppled dictators, prior levels of socioeconomic development and state strength shaped whether nascent democracy, resurgent authoritarianism, or unbridled civil war would follow.

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Ethics in Public Life: Good Practitioners in a Rising Asia

Abstract:

The topic of moral competence is generally neglected in the study of public management and policy, yet it is critical to any hope we might have for strengthening the quality of governance and professional practice. What does moral competence consist of? How is it developed and sustained? These questions are addressed in this book through close examination of selected practitioners in Asian countries making life-defining decisions in their work. The protagonists include a doctor in Singapore, a political activist in India, a mid-level bureaucrat in central Asia, a religious missionary in China, and a journalist in Cambodia – each struggling with ethical challenges that shed light on what it takes to act effectively and well in public life. Together they bear witness to the ideal of public service, exercising their personal gifts for the well-being of others and demonstrating that, even in difficult circumstances, the reflective practitioner can be a force for good.

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Counting Islam: Religion, Class, and Elections in Egypt

Citation:

Masoud, Tarek. 2014. Counting Islam: Religion, Class, and Elections in Egypt. Cambridge University Press.
Counting Islam: Religion, Class, and Elections in Egypt

Abstract:

Tarek Masoud, Cambridge University Press, 2014

Why does Islam seem to dominate Egyptian politics, especially when the country's endemic poverty and deep economic inequality would seem to render it promising terrain for a politics of radical redistribution rather than one of religious conservativism? This book argues that the answer lies not in the political unsophistication of voters, the subordination of economic interests to spiritual ones, or the ineptitude of secular and leftist politicians, but in organizational and social factors that shape the opportunities of parties in authoritarian and democratizing systems to reach potential voters. Tracing the performance of Islamists and their rivals in Egyptian elections over the course of almost forty years, this book not only explains why Islamists win elections, but illuminates the possibilities for the emergence in Egypt of the kind of political pluralism that is at the heart of what we expect from democracy.

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Last updated on 01/30/2020

Open Budgets: The Political Economy of Transparency, Participation, and Accountability

Citation:

Khagram, Sanjeev, Archon Fung, and Paolo de Renzio. 2013. Open Budgets: The Political Economy of Transparency, Participation, and Accountability. Brookings Institution Press/Ash Center,.
Open Budgets: The Political Economy of Transparency, Participation, and Accountability

Abstract:

Sanjeev Khagram, Archon Fung, and Paolo Renzio, Brookings Institution Press, 2013  

Decisions about “who gets what, when, and how” are perhaps the most important that any government must make. So it should not be remarkable that around the world, public officials responsible for public budgeting are facing demands – from their own citizenry, other government officials, economic actors, and increasingly from international sources – to make their patterns of spending more transparent and their processes more participatory. Surprisingly, rigorous analysis of the causes and consequences of fiscal transparency is thin at best. Open Budgets seeks to fill this gap in existing knowledge.

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The Education of Nations: How the Political Organization of the Poor, Not Democracy, Led Governments to Invest in Mass Education

The Education of Nations: How the Political Organization of the Poor, Not Democracy, Led Governments to Invest in Mass Education

Abstract:

Stephen Kosack, Oxford University Press, 2012 

What causes a government to invest – or not invest – in poor citizens, especially mass education? In The Education of Nations, Stephen Kosack focuses on three radically different developing countries whose developmental trajectories bear little resemblance to each other – Brazil, Ghana, and Taiwan – and offers an elegant and pragmatic answer to this crucially important question. Quite simply, the level of investment in mass education is the product of one of two simple conditions, one political and one economic. The first condition is the nature and success of political entrepreneurs at organizing the poor politically; the second is the flexibility of the labor market faced by employers who need skilled workers.

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Can We Put an End to Sweatshops?

Citation:

and Dara O’Rourke, Archon Fung, Charles Sabe. 2011. Can We Put an End to Sweatshops?. Beacon Press.
Can We Put an End to Sweatshops?

Abstract:

Dara O’Rourke, Archon Fung, and Charles Sabe; Beacon Press, November 2011

Sweatshops The MIT scholar who broke the news about Nike’s sweatshops argues, with two colleagues, that consumer choices can improve workers’ lives globally Seventy-five percent of Americans say they would avoid retailers whom they knew sold goods produced in sweatshops. And almost 90 percent said they would pay at least an extra dollar on a twenty-dollar item if they could be sure it had not been produced by exploited workers. Knowing that information about the conditions of workers around the world can influence what we buy, Dara O’Rourke, Archon Fung, and Charles Sabel argue that making that information widely available is the best way to improve conditions. Although watchdog agencies have tried to monitor working conditions and pressure corporations to adhere to international standards, the authors show how these organizations alone cannot do enough; only consumer action and the threat of falling profits will force corporate owners to care about the conditions of their workers. Respondents include activists, scholars, and officials of the International Labor Organization and World Bank.

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Last updated on 03/16/2020

From the Ground Up: Improving Government Performance with Independent Monitoring Organizations

Citation:

Griffin, Charles, Stephen Kosack, and Courtney Tolmie. 2010. From the Ground Up: Improving Government Performance with Independent Monitoring Organizations. Brookings Institution Press.
From the Ground Up: Improving Government Performance with Independent Monitoring Organizations

Abstract:

Charles Griffin, Stephen Kosack, and Courtney Tolmie, Brookings Institution Press, 2010

From the Ground Up proposes that the international community’s efforts to improve public expenditure and budget execution decisions would be more effective if done in collaboration with local independent monitoring organizations. The authors track the work of 16 independent monitoring organizations from across the developing world, demonstrating how these relatively small groups of local researchers produce both thoughtful analysis and workable solutions. They achieve these results because their vantage point allows them to more effectively discern problems with governance and to communicate with their fellow citizens about the ideals and methods of good governance.

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From Reformasi to Institutional Transformation: A Strategic Assessment of Indonesia's Prospects for Growth, Equity, and Democratic Governance

From Reformasi to Institutional Transformation: A Strategic Assessment of Indonesia's Prospects for Growth, Equity, and Democratic Governance

Abstract:

Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia, Kompas Gramedia Group, 2010

Rates of economic growth in Indonesia have returned to the levels experienced before the global economic crisis of 2007-08. And yet other countries in Asia, such as China, India, Thailand, Malaysia, and The Philippines have been growing even faster. Compared to these countries, Indonesia is quickly being left behind in terms of foreign direct investment, manufacturing growth, infrastructure investments, and educational attainment. Like a marathoner carrying a twenty kilogram pack, Indonesia can see the competition pulling away but is powerless to pick up the pace. Indonesia must engage in a thorough process of institutional transformation if it is to shed the legacy of Guided Democracy and the New Order and learn to compete in an ever globalizing economy.

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Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication

Citation:

Borins, Sandford F., ed. 2008. Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication. Brookings Institution Press.
Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication

Abstract:

Sandford F. Borins, editor, Brookings Institution Press, 2008

What is the future of government innovation? How can innovation enhance the quality of life for citizens and strengthen democratic governance? Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication answers these questions by presenting a comprehensive approach to advancing the practice and study of innovation in government. The authors discuss new research on innovation, explore the impact of several programs that recognize innovation, and consider challenges to the replication of innovations.

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Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication

Citation:

Borins, Sandford F., ed. 2008. Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication. Brookings Institution Press.
Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication

Abstract:

Sandford F. Borins, editor, Brookings Institution Press, 2008

What is the future of government innovation? How can innovation enhance the quality of life for citizens and strengthen democratic governance? Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication answers these questions by presenting a comprehensive approach to advancing the practice and study of innovation in government. The authors discuss new research on innovation, explore the impact of several programs that recognize innovation, and consider challenges to the replication of innovations.

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Unleashing Change: A Study of Organizational Renewal in Government

Unleashing Change: A Study of Organizational Renewal in Government

Abstract:

Steven Kelman, Brookings Institution Press, 2005 

This is a hopeful account of the potential for organizational change and improvement within government. Despite the mantra that "people resist change," it is possible to effect meaningful reform in a large bureaucracy. In Unleashing Change, public management expert Steven Kelman presents a blueprint for accomplishing such improvements, based on his experience orchestrating procurement reform in the 1990s. Kelman's focuses on making change happen on the front lines, not just getting it announced by senior policymakers. He argues that frequently there will be a constituency for change within government organizations. The role for leaders is not to force change on the unwilling but to unleash the willing, and to persist long enough for the change to become institutionalized.

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From Walden to Wall Street: Frontiers of Conservation Finance

Citation:

Levitt, James N., and Lydia K. Bergen, ed. 2005. From Walden to Wall Street: Frontiers of Conservation Finance. Island Press.
From Walden to Wall Street: Frontiers of Conservation Finance

Abstract:

James N. Levitt and Lydia K. Bergen, editors, Island Press, 2005

In the absence of innovation in the field of conservation finance, a daunting funding gap faces conservationists aiming to protect America's system of landscapes that provide sustainable resources, water, wildlife habitat, and recreational amenities. Experts estimate that the average annual funding gap will be between $1.9 billion and $7.7 billion over the next forty years. Can the conservation community come up with new methods for financing that will fill this enormous gap? Which human and financial resources will allow us to fund critical land conservation needs? From Walden to Wall Street brings together the experience of more than a dozen pioneering conservation finance practitioners to address these crucial issues. Contributors present groundbreaking ideas, including mainstreaming environmental markets; government ballot measures for land conservations; convertible tax-exempt financing; and private equity markets.

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Governing by Network: The New Shape of the Public Sector

Citation:

Goldsmith, Stephen, and William D. Eggers, ed. 2004. Governing by Network: The New Shape of the Public Sector. Ash Center and Brookings Institution Press.
Governing by Network: The New Shape of the Public Sector

Abstract:

Stephen Goldsmith and William D. Eggers editors, Ash Center and Brookings Institution Press, 2004

A fundamental, but mostly hidden, transformation is happening in the way public services are being delivered, and in the way local and national governments fulfill their policy goals. Government executives are redefining their core responsibilities away from managing workers and providing services directly to orchestrating networks of public, private, and nonprofit organizations to deliver the services that government once did itself. Authors Stephen Goldsmith and William D. Eggers call this new model "governing by network" and maintain that the new approach is a dramatically different type of endeavor than simply managing divisions of employees. Governing by Network examines for the first time how managers on both sides of the aisle, public and private, are coping with the changes. Here is a clear roadmap for actually governing the networked state for elected officials, business executives, and the broader public.

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Despite the Odds: The Contentious Politics of Education Reform

Citation:

Grindle, Merilee S. 2004. Despite the Odds: The Contentious Politics of Education Reform. Princeton University Press.
Despite the Odds: The Contentious Politics of Education Reform

Abstract:

Merilee S. Grindle, Princeton University Press, 2004

Despite the Odds poses an important question: How can we account for successful policy reform initiatives when the political cards are stacked against change? Theories of politics usually predict that reform initiatives will be unsuccessful when powerful groups are opposed to change and institutions are biased against it. This book, however, shows how the strategic choices of reform proponents alter the destinies of policy reforms by reshaping power equations and undermining institutional biases that impede change. Despite the Odds opens the "black box" of decision making in five initiatives designed to enhance the quality of education services in Latin America. The book addresses the strategies used by reformers to manage the political process of change and those adopted by opposition groups and institutions resisting their efforts.

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Governing by Network: The New Shape of the Public Sector

Citation:

Goldsmith, Stephen, and William D. Eggers, ed. 2004. Governing by Network: The New Shape of the Public Sector. Ash Center and Brookings Institution Press.
Governing by Network: The New Shape of the Public Sector

Abstract:

Stephen Goldsmith and William D. Eggers editors, Ash Center and Brookings Institution Press, 2004

A fundamental, but mostly hidden, transformation is happening in the way public services are being delivered, and in the way local and national governments fulfill their policy goals. Government executives are redefining their core responsibilities away from managing workers and providing services directly to orchestrating networks of public, private, and nonprofit organizations to deliver the services that government once did itself. Authors Stephen Goldsmith and William D. Eggers call this new model "governing by network" and maintain that the new approach is a dramatically different type of endeavor that simply managing divisions of employeesGoverning by Network examines for the first time how managers on both sides of the aisle, public and private, are coping with the changes. Here is a clear roadmap for actually governing the networked state for elected officials, business executives, and the broader public.

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Last updated on 01/24/2020

Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government

Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government

Abstract:

Mark H. Moore, Harvard University Press, 1997

A seminal figure in the field of public management, Mark Moore presents his summation of 15 years of research, observation, and teaching about what public sector executives should do to improve the performance of public enterprises. Useful for both practicing public executives and those who teach them, this book explicates some of the richest of several hundred cases used at Harvard Kennedy School and illuminates their broader lessons for government managers. Moore addresses four questions that have long bedeviled public administration: What should citizens and their representatives expect and demand from public executives? What sources can public managers consult to learn what is valuable for them to produce? How should public managers cope with inconsistent and fickle political mandates? How can public managers find room to innovate? Moore's answers respond to the well-understood difficulties of managing public enterprises in modern society by recommending specific, concrete changes in the practices of individual public managers: how they envision what is valuable to produce, how they engage their political overseers, and how they deliver services and fulfill obligations to clients.

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Last updated on 02/18/2020
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Lynching and Local Justice: Legitimacy and Accountability in Weak States

Citation:

Cohen, Dara Kay, and Danielle F. Jung. 2020. Lynching and Local Justice: Legitimacy and Accountability in Weak States. Cambridge University Press.
Lynching and Local Justice: Legitimacy and Accountability in Weak States

Abstract:

Dara Kay Cohen, Danielle F. Jung; September 2020 

What are the social and political consequences of poor state governance and low state legitimacy? Under what conditions does lynching – lethal, extralegal group violence to punish offenses to the community – become an acceptable practice? We argue lynching emerges when neither the state nor its challengers have a monopoly over legitimate authority. When authority is contested or ambiguous, mass punishment for transgressions can emerge that is public, brutal, and requires broad participation. Using new cross-national data, we demonstrate lynching is a persistent problem in dozens of countries over the last four decades. Drawing on original survey and interview data from Haiti and South Africa, we show how lynching emerges and becomes accepted. Specifically, support for lynching most likely occurs in one of three conditions: when states fail to provide governance, when non-state actors provide social services, or when neighbors must rely on self-help.

Learn more on the publisher's site

Last updated on 09/17/2020

Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College?

 Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College?

Abstract:

Alexander Keyssar, July 2020

With every presidential election, Americans puzzle over the peculiar mechanism of the Electoral College. The author of the Pulitzer finalist The Right to Vote explains the enduring problem of this controversial institution.

Every four years, millions of Americans wonder why they choose their presidents through the Electoral College, an arcane institution that permits the loser of the popular vote to become president and narrows campaigns to swing states. Most Americans have long preferred a national popular vote, and Congress has attempted on many occasions to alter or scuttle the Electoral College. Several of these efforts—one as recently as 1970—came very close to winning approval. Yet this controversial system remains.

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Finding Allies and Making Revolution

Finding Allies and Making Revolution

Abstract:

Tony Saich, Brill, February 2020 

What does a Dutchman have to do with the rise of the Chinese Communist Party? Finding Allies and Making Revolution by Tony Saich reveals how Henk Sneevliet (alias Maring), arriving as Lenin’s choice for China work, provided the communists with two of their most enduring legacies: the idea of a Leninist party and the tactic of the united front. Sneevliet strived to instill discipline and structure for the left-leaning intellectuals searching for a solution to China’s humiliation. He was not an easy man and clashed with the Chinese comrades and his masters in Moscow. This new analysis is based on Sneevliet’s diaries and reports, together with contemporary materials from key Chinese figures, and important documents held in the Comintern’s China archive.

Watch a video introduction to the book 

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Last updated on 05/05/2020

The Hidden Face of Rights

The Hidden Face of Rights

Abstract:

Kathryn Sikkink, January 2020 

When we debate questions in international law, politics, and justice, we often use the language of rights—and far less often the language of responsibilities. Human rights scholars and activists talk about state responsibility for rights, but they do not articulate clear norms about other actors’ obligations. In this book, Kathryn Sikkink argues that we cannot truly implement human rights unless we also recognize and practice the corresponding human responsibilities.
 
Focusing on five areas—climate change, voting, digital privacy, freedom of speech, and sexual assault—and providing many examples of on-the-ground initiatives where people choose to embrace a close relationship between rights and responsibilities, Sikkink argues for the importance of responsibilities to any comprehensive understanding of political ethics and human rights.

Learn more on the publisher's site

Legitimacy: The Right to Rule in a Wanton World

Citation:

Applbaum, Arthur Isak. 2019. Legitimacy: The Right to Rule in a Wanton World. Harvard University Press.
Legitimacy: The Right to Rule in a Wanton World

Abstract:

Arthur Applbaum, Harvard University Press, November 2019 

What makes a government legitimate? The dominant view is that public officials have the right to rule us, even if they are unfair or unfit, as long as they gain power through procedures traceable to the consent of the governed. In this rigorous and timely study, Arthur Isak Applbaum argues that adherence to procedure is not enough: even a properly chosen government does not rule legitimately if it fails to protect basic rights, to treat its citizens as political equals, or to act coherently.

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Last updated on 02/18/2020

Valuing U.S. National Parks and Programs: America’s Best Investment

Valuing U.S. National Parks and Programs: America’s Best Investment

Abstract:

Linda J. Bilmes and John B. Loomis, Routledge, August 2019 

This book provides the first comprehensive economic valuation of US National Parks (including Monuments, Seashores, Lakeshores, Recreation Areas, Historic sites) and National Park Service (NPS) Programs.

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Last updated on 01/24/2020

Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism

Citation:

Norris, Pippa, and Ronald Inglehart. 2019. Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism. Cambridge University Press.
Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism

Abstract:

Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart, Cambridge University Press, February 2019

Authoritarian populist parties have advanced in many countries, and entered government in states as diverse as Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland. Even small parties can still shift the policy agenda, as demonstrated by UKIP's role in catalyzing Brexit. Drawing on new evidence, this book advances a general theory why the silent revolution in values triggered a backlash fuelling support for Authoritarian-Populist parties and leaders in the US and Europe. The conclusion highlights the dangers of this development and what could be done to mitigate the risks to liberal democracy.

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Last updated on 01/24/2020

Public Value: Deepening, Enriching, and Broadening the Theory and Practice

Citation:

Lindgreen, Adam, Nicole Koenig-Lewis, Martin Kitchener, John D. Brewer, Mark H. Moore, and Timo Meynhardt. 2019. Public Value: Deepening, Enriching, and Broadening the Theory and Practice. Routledge.
Public Value: Deepening, Enriching, and Broadening the Theory and Practice

Abstract:

Adam Lindgreen, Nicole Koenig-Lewis, Martin Kitchener, John D. Brewer, Mark H. Moore, and Timo Meynhardt, Routledge, 2019 

Over the last 10 years, the concept of value has emerged in both business and public life as part of an important process of measuring, benchmarking, and assuring the resources we invest and the outcomes we generate from our activities. In the context of public life, value is an important measure on the contribution to business and social good of activities for which strict financial measures are either inappropriate or fundamentally unsound.

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Last updated on 03/16/2020

Alan Brinkley: A Life in History

Citation:

Greenberg, David, Moshik Temkin, and Mason B. Williams. 2019. Alan Brinkley: A Life in History.
Alan Brinkley: A Life in History

Abstract:

David Greenberg, Moshik Temkin, and Mason B. Williams; Columbia University Press; January 2019

Few American historians of his generation have had as much influence in both the academic and popular realms as Alan Brinkley. His debut work, the National Book Award–winning Voices of Protest, launched a storied career that considered the full spectrum of American political life. His books give serious and original treatments of populist dissent, the role of mass media, the struggles of liberalism and conservatism, and the powers and limits of the presidency. A longtime professor at Harvard University and Columbia University, Brinkley has shaped the field of U.S. history for generations of students through his textbooks and his mentorship of some of today’s foremost historians. Alan Brinkley: A Life in History brings together essays on his major works and ideas, as well as personal reminiscences from leading historians and thinkers beyond the academy whom Brinkley collaborated with, befriended, and influenced. 

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Playing by the Informal Rules

Citation:

Li, Yao. 2018. Playing by the Informal Rules. Cambridge University Press.
Playing by the Informal Rules

Abstract:

Yao Li, Cambridge University Press, November 2018  

Growing protests in non-democratic countries are often seen as signals of regime decline. China, however, has remained stable amid surging protests. Playing by the Informal Rules highlights the importance of informal norms in structuring state-protester interactions, mitigating conflict, and explaining regime resilience. Drawing on a nationwide dataset of protest and multi-sited ethnographic research, this book presents a bird's-eye view of Chinese contentious politics and illustrates the uneven application of informal norms across regions, social groups, and time. Through examinations of protests and their distinct implications for regime stability, Li offers a novel theoretical framework suitable for monitoring the trajectory of political contention in China and beyond. Overall, this study sheds new light on political mobilization and authoritarian resilience and provides fresh perspectives on power, rules, legitimacy, and resistance in modern societies.

 

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Last updated on 01/24/2020

Deep Roots: How Slavery Still Shapes Southern Politics

Citation:

Acharya, Avidit, Matthew Blackwell, and Maya Sen. 2018. Deep Roots: How Slavery Still Shapes Southern Politics. Princeton University Press.
Deep Roots: How Slavery Still Shapes Southern Politics

Abstract:

Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell & Maya Sen, Princeton University Press, 2018 

Despite dramatic social transformations in the United States during the last 150 years, the South has remained staunchly conservative. Southerners are more likely to support Republican candidates, gun rights, and the death penalty, and southern whites harbor higher levels of racial resentment than whites in other parts of the country. Why haven't these sentiments evolved or changed? Deep Roots shows that the entrenched political and racial views of contemporary white southerners are a direct consequence of the region's slaveholding history, which continues to shape economic, political, and social spheres. Today, southern whites who live in areas once reliant on slavery—compared to areas that were not—are more racially hostile and less amenable to policies that could promote black progress. 

Highlighting the connection between historical institutions and contemporary political attitudes, the authors explore the period following the Civil War when elite whites in former bastions of slavery had political and economic incentives to encourage the development of anti-black laws and practices. Deep Roots shows that these forces created a local political culture steeped in racial prejudice, and that these viewpoints have been passed down over generations, from parents to children and via communities, through a process called behavioral path dependence. While legislation such as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act made huge strides in increasing economic opportunity and reducing educational disparities, southern slavery has had a profound, lasting, and self-reinforcing influence on regional and national politics that can still be felt today.

A groundbreaking look at the ways institutions of the past continue to sway attitudes of the present, Deep Roots demonstrates how social beliefs persist long after the formal policies that created those beliefs have been eradicated.

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Party Systems in Latin America: Institutionalization, Decay, and Collapse

Party Systems in Latin America: Institutionalization, Decay, and Collapse

Abstract:

Scott Mainwaring, Cambridge University Press, February 2018

Based on contributions from leading scholars, this study generates a wealth of new empirical information about Latin American party systems. It also contributes richly to major theoretical and comparative debates about the effects of party systems on democratic politics, and about why some party systems are much more stable and predictable than others. Party Systems in Latin America builds on, challenges, and updates Mainwaring and Timothy Scully's seminal Building Democratic Institutions: Party Systems in Latin America (1995), which re-oriented the study of democratic party systems in the developing world. It is essential reading for scholars and students of comparative party systems, democracy, and Latin American politics. It shows that a stable and predictable party system facilitates important democratic processes and outcomes, but that building and maintaining such a party system has been the exception rather than the norm in contemporary Latin America.

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Last updated on 03/01/2020

A New City O/S: The Power of Open, Collaborative, and Distributed Governance

Citation:

Goldsmith, Stephen, and Neil Kleiman. 2017. A New City O/S: The Power of Open, Collaborative, and Distributed Governance. Brookings Institution Press.
A New City O/S: The Power of Open, Collaborative, and Distributed Governance

Abstract:

Stephen Goldsmith and Neil Kleiman, Brookings, November 2017

At a time when trust is dropping precipitously and American government at the national level has fallen into a state of long-term, partisan-based gridlock, local government can still be effective—indeed more effective and even more responsive to the needs of its citizens. Based on decades of direct experience and years studying successful models around the world, the authors of this intriguing book propose a new operating system (O/S) for cities. Former mayor and Harvard professor Stephen Goldsmith and New York University professor Neil Kleiman suggest building on the giant leaps that have been made in technology, social engagement, and big data.

Calling their approach “distributed governance,” Goldsmith and Kleiman offer a model that allows public officials to mobilize new resources, surface ideas from unconventional sources, and arm employees with the information they need to become pre-emptive problem solvers. This book highlights lessons from the many innovations taking place in today’s cities to show how a new O/S can create systemic transformation.

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Last updated on 03/01/2020

The Cold War: A World History

Citation:

Westad, Odd Arne. 2017. The Cold War: A World History. Basic Books, 720.
The Cold War: A World History

Abstract:

Odd Arne Westad, Basic Books, September 2017

In this major new work, Bancroft Prize-winning scholar Odd Arne Westad argues that the Cold War must be understood as a global ideological confrontation, with early roots in the Industrial Revolution and ongoing repercussions around the world.

In The Cold War, Westad offers a new perspective on a century when great power rivalry and ideological battle transformed every corner of our globe. From Soweto to Hollywood, Hanoi, and Hamburg, young men and women felt they were fighting for the future of the world. The Cold War may have begun on the perimeters of Europe, but it had its deepest reverberations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, where nearly every community had to choose sides. And these choices continue to define economies and regimes across the world.

 

 

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Last updated on 03/01/2020

3-in-1: Governing a Global Financial Centre

Citation:

Woo, Jun Jie. 2017. 3-in-1: Governing a Global Financial Centre. World Scientific Publishing, 128.
3-in-1: Governing a Global Financial Centre

Abstract:

Jun Jie Woo, World Scientific Publishing, August 2017

3-in-1: Governing a Global Financial Centre provides a comprehensive understanding of Singapore's past development and future success as a global financial centre. It focuses on three transformational processes that have determined the city-state's financial sector development and governance — globalisation, financialisation, and centralisation — and their impacts across three areas: the economy, governance, and technology. More importantly, this book takes a multidimensional approach by considering the inter-related and interdependent nature of these three transformational processes. Just like the 3-in-1 coffee mix that is such an ubiquitous feature of everyday life in Singapore, the individual ingredients of Singapore's success as a global financial centre do not act alone, but as an integrated whole that manifests itself in one final product: the global financial centre.

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Last updated on 03/01/2020

The Fissured Workplace

Citation:

Weil, David. 2017. The Fissured Workplace. Harvard University Press, 424.
The Fissured Workplace

Abstract:

David Weil, Harvard University Press, May 2017

For much of the twentieth century, large companies employing many workers formed the bedrock of the U.S. economy. Today, on the list of big business’s priorities, sustaining the employer-worker relationship ranks far below building a devoted customer base and delivering value to investors. As David Weil’s groundbreaking analysis shows, large corporations have shed their role as direct employers of the people responsible for their products, in favor of outsourcing work to small companies that compete fiercely with one another. Weil proposes ways to modernize regulatory policies and laws so that employers can meet their obligations to workers while allowing companies to keep the beneficial aspects of this innovative business strategy.

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Last updated on 03/01/2020

Presidents’ Secrets: The Use and Abuse of Hidden Power

Citation:

Graham, Mary. 2017. Presidents’ Secrets: The Use and Abuse of Hidden Power. Yale University Press, 272.
Presidents’ Secrets: The Use and Abuse of Hidden Power

Abstract:

Mary Graham, Yale University Press, February 2017

Ever since the nation’s most important secret meeting—the Constitutional Convention—presidents have struggled to balance open, accountable government with necessary secrecy in military affairs and negotiations. For the first one hundred  and twenty years, a culture of open government persisted, but new threats and technology have long since shattered the old bargains. Today, presidents neither protect vital information nor provide the open debate Americans expect.
 
Mary Graham tracks the rise in governmental secrecy that began with surveillance and loyalty programs during Woodrow Wilson’s administration, explores how it developed during the Cold War, and analyzes efforts to reform the secrecy apparatus and restore oversight in the 1970s. Chronicling the expansion of presidential secrecy in the Bush years, Graham explains what presidents and the American people can learn from earlier crises, why the attempts of Congress to rein in stealth activities don’t work, and why presidents cannot hide actions that affect citizens’ rights and values.

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Public Health Preparedness: Case Studies in Policy and Management

Citation:

Howitt, Arnold M., Herman B. "Dutch" Leonard, and David W. Giles. 2017. Public Health Preparedness: Case Studies in Policy and Management. American Public Health Association.
Public Health Preparedness: Case Studies in Policy and Management

Abstract:

Arnold M. Howitt, Herman B. "Dutch" Leonard, and David W. Giles, American Public Health Association, February 2017

Containing 15 Harvard Kennedy School case studies on public health emergency preparedness and response, this book provides detailed accounts of a range of natural disasters, infectious diseases, and bio-terrorism. With chapters on Superstorm Sandy, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the 2001 anthrax attacks, and evacuations from Gulf Coast hurricanes, the book covers major areas in public health preparedness, portraying the varied and complex challenges the public health community faces when confronting disaster.

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Last updated on 03/01/2020

Social Policy Expansion in Latin America

Citation:

Garay, Candelaria. 2017. Social Policy Expansion in Latin America . Cambridge University Press.
Social Policy Expansion in Latin America

Abstract:

Candelaria Garay, Cambridge University Press, January 2017 

 

Throughout the twentieth century, much of the population in Latin America lacked access to social protection. Since the 1990s, however, social policy for millions of outsiders - rural, informal, and unemployed workers and dependents - has been expanded dramatically. Social Policy Expansion in Latin America shows that the critical factors driving expansion are electoral competition for the vote of outsiders and social mobilization for policy change. The balance of partisan power and the involvement of social movements in policy design explain cross-national variation in policy models, in terms of benefit levels, coverage, and civil society participation in implementation. The book draws on in-depth case studies of policy making in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico over several administrations and across three policy areas: health care, pensions, and income support. Secondary case studies illustrate how the theory applies to other developing countries.

 

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Democracy Reinvented: Participatory Budgeting and Civic Innovation in America

Democracy Reinvented: Participatory Budgeting and Civic Innovation in America

Abstract:

Hollie Russon Gilman, Brookings, 2016 

Democracy Reinvented is the first comprehensive academic treatment of participatory budgeting in the United States, situating it within a broader trend of civic technology and innovation. This global phenomenon, which has been called “revolutionary civics in action” by the New York Times, started in Brazil in 1989 but came to America only in 2009.  Participatory budgeting empowers citizens to identify community needs, work with elected officials to craft budget proposals, and vote on how to spend public funds.

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Last updated on 01/24/2020
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Presidential Politics in Taiwan: The Administration of Chen Shui-bian

Citation:

Chang, Julian. 2008. Presidential Politics in Taiwan: The Administration of Chen Shui-bian. Edited by Steven M. Goldstein. EastBridge Books.
Presidential Politics in Taiwan: The Administration of Chen Shui-bian

Abstract:

Steven M. Goldstein and Julian Chang, editors, EastBridge Books, 2008

Presidential Politics in Taiwan discusses some of the main themes which emerged following Chen Shui-bian’s election and seeks to elucidate the major challenges that the administration faced, as well as the policies that Chen established. This serves as a foundation for the individual chapters assessing the direction that the Chen Shui-bian administration has taken in regard to the major issue areas of domestic political dynamics; socio-political “hot buttons”; and foreign policy/national security. Each chapter addresses the question of how the Chen administration’s first term defined, debated, and impacted specific aspects of the evolving Taiwanese polity.

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Providing Public Goods in Transitional China

Citation:

Saich, Anthony, and Palgrave Macmillan. 2008. Providing Public Goods in Transitional China. Publishers Limited.
Providing Public Goods in Transitional China

Abstract:

Anthony Saich, Palgrave Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2008

China's leaders faced a major challenge to provide citizens with acceptable social welfare during the economic transition. They are confronted with building a new support system in the countryside, shifting the burden in urban China from the factory to the local state, and integrating new social groups into existing systems. Providing Public Goods comprises a detailed study of healthcare, disease control, social insurance, and social relief.

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Globalization of Chinese Enterprises

Citation:

Alon, Ilan, and John R. McIntyre, ed. 2008. Globalization of Chinese Enterprises. Palgrave Macmillan Publishers Limited.
Globalization of Chinese Enterprises

Abstract:

Ilan Alon and John R. McIntyre, editors, Palgrave Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2008

The 21st century has been dubbed the Chinese century. As China becomes a dominant world economic actor, its enterprises—state-run or otherwise—increasingly look to distant shores in the Western hemisphere and the European continent for inspiration. Edited by John R. McIntyre and former Rajawali Fellow Ilan Alon, this collection of papers brings together a diverse community of interdisciplinary Chinese research scholars to assess the impact of Chinese business on global business and environments, disseminate knowledge on the emergence of globalizing Chinese firms, and address the issues related to corporate sustainable development and outsourcing.

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Last updated on 03/16/2020

China Urbanizes: Consequences, Strategies, and Policies

Citation:

Saich, Anthony J., and Shahid Yusuf, ed. 2008. China Urbanizes: Consequences, Strategies, and Policies. World Bank Publications.
China Urbanizes: Consequences, Strategies, and Policies

Abstract:

Over the next 10-15 years, China's urbanization rate is expected to rise from 43 percent to well over 50 percent, adding an additional 200 million mainly rural migrants to the current urban population of 560 million. How China copes with such a large migration flow will strongly influence rural-urban inequality, the pace at which urban centers expand their economic performance, and the urban environment. The growing population will necessitate a big push strategy to maintain a high rate of investment in housing and the urban physical infrastructure and urban services. To finance such expansion will require a significant strengthening and diversification of China's financial system.

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Informal Institutions and Rural Development in China

Informal Institutions and Rural Development in China

Abstract:

Biliang Hu, Routledge, 2007

China's successful transition from a centrally planned economy to a socialist market economy, with rapid growth in rural areas 1980s, is a consequence of the impact of both formal and informal institutions. Hitherto, most work undertaken on this issue has focused on formal institutions. This book shows the great importance of informal institutions on the economic and social development of rural China. It examines the relationship between informal institutions and rural development in China since the end of the 1970s, focusing in particular on three major informal institutions: village trust and rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs), guanxi community and 'integrating village with company' (IVWC) governance.

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Economic Reform and Cross-Strait Relations: Taiwan and China in the WTO

Citation:

Chang, Julian, and Steven M. Goldstein. 2007. Economic Reform and Cross-Strait Relations: Taiwan and China in the WTO. World Scientific Publishing.
Economic Reform and Cross-Strait Relations: Taiwan and China in the WTO

Abstract:

The book begins with an introduction which analyzes the state of Cross-Strait economic and political relations on the eve of dual accession to the WTO, and briefly introduces the chapters which follow. The first chapter discusses the concessions made by both sides in their accession agreements and is followed by two chapters which describe the manner in which the Taiwan economy was reformed to achieve compliance as well as the specific, restrictive trade regime that was put into place to manage mainland trade. The next two chapters deal with the implications of that restrictive trade regime for the Taiwan economy in Asia and with the nature of the interactions between the two sides within the WTO. The final four chapters of the volume examine the impact of membership on four sectors of the economy: finance; agriculture; electronics; and automobiles.

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