Publications

    The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States

    Alexander Keyssar, Basic Books, 2009

    Most Americans take for granted their right to vote, whether they choose to exercise it or not. But the history of suffrage in the U.S. is, in fact, the story of a struggle to achieve this right by our society's marginalized groups. In The Right to Vote, HKS historian Alexander Keyssar explores the evolution of suffrage over the course of the nation's history. Examining the many features of the history of the right to vote in the U.S. – class, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, and age – the book explores the conditions under which American democracy has expanded and contracted over the years. Keyssar presents convincing evidence that the history of the right to vote has not been one of a steady history of expansion and increasing inclusion, noting that voting rights contracted substantially in the U.S. between 1850 and 1920. Keyssar also presents a controversial thesis: that the primary factor promoting the expansion of the suffrage has been war and the primary factors promoting contraction or delaying expansion have been class tension and class conflict. The June 2009 edition includes a new chapter on voting rights since 2000.

    Eggers, William, and John O'Leary. 2009. If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government. Harvard Business School Press. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    William Eggers and John O'Leary, Harvard Business School Press, 2009

    The American people are frustrated with their government — dismayed by a series of high-profile failures (Iraq, Katrina, the financial meltdown). Yet our nation has a proud history of great achievements: victory in World War II, our national highway system, welfare reform, the moon landing. The truth is, we need more successes like these to reclaim government's legacy of competence. In the book If We Can Put a Man on the Moon, William Eggers and John O'Leary explain how to do it. The key? Understand — and avoid — the common pitfalls that trip up public-sector leaders during the journey from idea to results.

    Why David Sometimes Wins: Leadership, Organization, and Strategy in the California Farm Worker Movement

    Marshall Ganz, Oxford University Press, 2009

    Why David Sometimes Wins tells the story of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers' groundbreaking victory, drawing important lessons from this dramatic tale. Since the 1900s, large-scale agricultural enterprises relied on migrant labor – a cheap, unorganized, and powerless workforce. In 1965, when some 800 Filipino grape workers began to strike under the aegis of the AFL-CIO, the UFW soon joined the action with 2,000 Mexican workers and turned the strike into a civil rights struggle. They engaged in civil disobedience, mobilized support from churches and students, boycotted growers, and transformed their struggle into La Causa, a farm workers' movement that eventually triumphed over the grape industry's Goliath. Why did they succeed? How can the powerless challenge the powerful successfully? Offering insight from a longtime movement organizer and scholar, Ganz illustrates how they had the ability and resourcefulness to devise good strategy and turn short-term advantages into long-term gains. Authoritative in scholarship and magisterial in scope, this book constitutes a seminal contribution to learning from the movement's struggles, setbacks, and successes.

    New York Acquisition Fund: New York, NY – 2008 Innovations Winner

    This 9-minute video is a companion to “Buying Property in a Hot Market: NYC Creates a Fund to Keep Affordable Housing Developers in Play“ (case number 1907.0). In it, Shaun Donovan, the former New York City Housing Commissioner, explains the genesis of the New York City Acquisition Fund, created in 2006 with the goal of delivering timely loans to small and nonprofit affordable housing developers so as to allow them to compete with market-rate developers at a time of rampant speculation, rapidly rising prices, and fierce competition in the New York real estate market. The Fund represented a groundbreaking effort to use public sector funds and authority, together with foundation capital, to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in loan capital from banks and private lenders.

    In this video, Donovan stresses the importance of correctly assessing the scope of a problem, and designing a solution that is “to scale.” He also notes that the creation of the NYC Acquisition Fund relied in part on a critical philanthropic contribution that funded the research and development stage of the initiative.

    The State of Access: Success and Failure of Democracies to Create Equal Opportunities
    de Jong, Jorrit, and Gowher Rizvi, ed. 2009. The State of Access: Success and Failure of Democracies to Create Equal Opportunities. Brookings Institution Press. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Jorrit de Jong and Gowher Rizvi, editors, Brookings Institution Press, 2009

    The State of Access documents a worrisome gap between principles and practice in democratic governance. This book is a comparative, cross-disciplinary exploration of the ways in which democratic institutions fail or succeed to create the equal opportunities that they have promised to deliver to the people they serve. In theory, rules and regulations may formally guarantee access to democratic processes, public services, and justice. But reality routinely disappoints, for a number of reasons—exclusionary policymaking, insufficient attention to minorities, underfunded institutions, inflexible bureaucracies. The State of Access helps close the gap between the potential and performance in democratic governance.

    China Rules: Globalization and Political Transformation
    Alon, Ilan, Julian Chang, Marc Fetscherin, Christoph Latteman, and John R. McIntyre, ed. 2009. China Rules: Globalization and Political Transformation. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Ilan Alon, Julian Chang, Marc Fetscherin, Christoph Latteman, and John R. McIntyre, editors, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009

    The development of the Chinese multinational is a new feature of globalization. This book deals in the first section with the political economy and governance of China. The contemporary discourse of the internationalization of Chinese enterprises is discussed from different theoretical perspectives and shows how it will reshape global competition, and how the new corporate governance structures impact the long-term performance of state-owned enterprises in China. The second section assesses international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) by Chinese firms and their impact on developed countries. The effects of China's policy and regulatory change on outward FDI are outlined and a Sino-EU Intra-Industry Trade and FDI analysis explores the nature of the challenge facing the EU. Section three describes the developments in certain Chinese industries, such as telecommunications, electronics and automotives, and explains companies and government strategies to gain access to global natural resources.

    The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States

    Alexander Keyssar, Basic Books, 2009

    Most Americans take for granted their right to vote, whether they choose to exercise it or not. But the history of suffrage in the U.S. is, in fact, the story of a struggle to achieve this right by our society's marginalized groups. In The Right to Vote, HKS historian Alexander Keyssar explores the evolution of suffrage over the course of the nation's history. Examining the many features of the history of the right to vote in the U.S.—class, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, and age—the book explores the conditions under which American democracy has expanded and contracted over the years. Keyssar presents convincing evidence that the history of the right to vote has not been one of a steady history of expansion and increasing inclusion, noting that voting rights contracted substantially in the U.S. between 1850 and 1920. Keyssar also presents a controversial thesis: that the primary factor promoting the expansion of the suffrage has been war and the primary factors promoting contraction or delaying expansion have been class tension and class conflict. The June 2009 edition includes a new chapter on voting rights since 2000.

    “For Vietnam, success is a choice.“ This sums up the verdict delivered by the Center’s Vietnam Program to the government of Vietnam in early 2008. In a country accustomed to outpourings of praise from multilateral donors for its economic performance, the sobering assessment was headline news. On January 15, 2008, a Vietnam Program delegation headed by Director Tom Vallely met with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi, and presented him with this report. The paper was written in response to a request from Prime Minister Dung that the Vietnam Program conduct a critical analysis of Vietnam’s socioeconomic development strategy for the period through 2020.
    in Program, Innovations Government. 2008. “Celebrating 20 Years of Government Innovation ”. Read the full report Abstract

    Innovations in Government Program, March 2008 

    This report offers findings and subsequent analysis of the winners of the Innovations in American Government (IAG) Awards honored between 1986 and 2007. The findings were released at the Institute’s “Frontiers of Innovation: Celebrating 20 Years of Innovation in Government” conference held March 31 through April 2, 2008.

    Thanh, Nguyen Xuan, Vu Thanh Tu Anh, David Dapice, Jonathan Pincus, and Ben Wilkinson. 2008. “The Structural Roots of Macroeconomic Instability”. Read Full Paper Abstract

    Nguyen Xuan Thanh, Vu Thanh Tu Anh, David Dapice, Jonathan Pincus, Ben Wilkinson, September 2008

    This paper responds to a request from the Vietnamese government for an analysis of the short- and long-term challenges confronting the Vietnamese economy. The paper argues that restoring macroeconomic stability and positioning the economy for long term growth will require fundamental, structural reform. The paper begins by comparing Vietnam’s performance over the past 20 years to other countries in the region. This comparison reveals a set of worrisome trends which, taken together, raise questions about the sustainability of Vietnam’s growth path. Part II examines the current macroeconomic environment and assesses the government’s response to date. The paper concludes that, while government policy has succeeded in reducing macroeconomic turbulence in the short run, nothing has been done to address the structural weaknesses of the Vietnamese economy.

    Vietnam Program, May 2008

    The Vietnamese economy is facing its most serious challenges since the mid-1980s. Over the past several months the government has stated its determination to curb inflation and restore macroeconomic stability. These are indeed critical priorities, but the government’s actions to date to achieve this end have been largely ineffectual. This Vietnam Policy Discussion Paper argues that a restoration of the situation prior to the onset of the current instability is neither possible nor desirable. This is because the current situation is due largely to structural weaknesses in the Vietnamese economy; the international conditions that have been offered as explanations are, at best, secondary factors.

    de Jong, Jorrit, and Elba C.S. de Andrade. 2008. “Citizen Assistance Service Charters, Brazil”. Read the full case study Abstract

     Jorrit de Jong, Elba C.S. de Andrade, March 2008  

    The research project Improving Access (www.ImprovingAccess.Org) was developed by an international group of researchers interested in innovations in democratic governance. It explores the ways in which democratic institutions fail or succeed to create genuinely equal opportunities. This partnership between the Ash Institute at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and the Centre for Government Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands has resulted in the production and organization of research, conferences, publications, and teaching materials.

    This document is an interview with Elba C.S. de Andrade, Quality Management Director of the Superintendency for Citizen Assistance, State Secretariat of Administration for the state of Bahia, Brazil, about the innovative Mobile Citizen Service Assistance centers in Brazil.

    If bureaucracy impedes service delivery to citizens, it doubly affects citizens in remote areas, who live great distances from administrative centers. In the state of Bahia, Brazil, the government created mobile centers that bring services directly to those citizens. In the process, procedures were simplified and services were coordinated among different agencies.

    Erik Gerritsen, March 2008  

    The research project Improving Access (www.ImprovingAccess.Org) was developed by an international group of researchers interested in innovations in democratic governance. It explores the ways in which democratic institutions fail or succeed to create genuinely equal opportunities. This partnership between the Ash Institute at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and the Centre for Government Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands has resulted in the production and organization of research, conferences, publications, and teaching materials.

    This document is an interview with Erik Gerritsen, Knowledge Ambassador for the city of Amsterdam, regarding the innovative program, One Stop Shop for Hotel Restaurant Café Licenses (abbreviated HoReCa1).

    Despite the economic value of the hotel and restaurant sector in Amsterdam, the regulations for acquiring a bar, hotel, or restaurant license in the city were extremely complicated. Especially for nascent immigrant entrepreneurs, the investments of time, money, and energy were prohibitive. HoReCa1, a novel, cross-agency, and web-enabled initiative, dramatically reduced the complexity and costs of licensing-for the entrepreneurs and the government.

     

    Jorrit de Jong, Harsh Mander, March 2008

    The research project Improving Access (www.ImprovingAccess.Org) was developed by an international group of researchers interested in innovations in democratic governance. It explores the ways in which democratic institutions fail or succeed to create genuinely equal opportunities. This partnership between the Ash Institute at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and the Centre for Government Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands has resulted in the production and organization of research, conferences, publications, and teaching materials.

    This document is an interview with Harsh Mander, the Convenor of Aman Biradari, a people's campaign for secularism, peace and justice, regarding the innovative program, Nyayagrah.

    In the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots, more than half of the complaints filed by victims were closed without trial. The Nyayagrah initiative brought together working-class Muslim and Hindu volunteers to provide moral support and legal assistance to the victims. Along with a petition to the Supreme Court, the project led to real access to justice for the survivors of the riots.

    Thanh, Nguyen Xuan, Vu Thanh Tu Anh, David Dapice, Jonathan Pincus, and Ben Wilkinson. 2008. “Macroeconomic Instability: Causes and Policy Responses”. Read Full Paper Abstract

    Nguyen Xuan Thanh, Vu Thanh Tu Anh, David Dapice, Jonathan Pincus, and Ben Wilkinson, February 2008

    This paper argues that a series of resolute and coordinated policy interventions is needed to restore macroeconomic stability, cushion the impact of the global economic downturn, and keep Vietnam on the path of sustainable growth. Specifically, the Vietnamese government must quell price inflation, reduce fiscal and trade deficits and slow down money and credit growth through a consistent and synchronized set of policy interventions. Gradual deflation of the real estate price bubble is needed in order to avoid a sudden collapse in prices, which would, if it occurred, destabilize the financial sector with potentially serious contagion effects for the real economy. Successful implementation of these policy prescriptions in the near term, and maintaining a stable economic environment over the medium to long term, will require greater policy coordination than the Vietnamese government has demonstrated in recent years.

    Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication

    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.

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

    Providing Public Goods in Transitional China
    Saich, Anthony, and Palgrave Macmillan. 2008. Providing Public Goods in Transitional China. Publishers Limited. Visit Publisher's Site 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.

    Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication

    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.

    Globalization of Chinese Enterprises
    Alon, Ilan, and John R. McIntyre, ed. 2008. Globalization of Chinese Enterprises. Palgrave Macmillan Publishers Limited. Visit Publisher's Site 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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