News from Governance August 2012 - An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions
Co-Editors: Alasdair S. Roberts and Robert H. Cox. Book Review Editor: Clay Wescott. Editorial Assistant: Genevieve Butler. The GOVERNANCE blog
How courts shape electoral politics in Thailand and Indonesia
Indonesian Supreme Court In the current issue of Governance, Björn Dressel and Marcus Mietzner of the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific examine the divergent roles of Thai and Indonesian courts in shaping electoral politics. Where political power is diffused, as in Indonesia, courts have more autonomy and act to open up the electoral process. Where power remains concentrated, as in Thailand, "elites have both the motive and the means to turn judicial activism to anti-democratic ends." Read the article.
Performance management: Not just taming unruly servants
We normally think of performance management techniques as mechanisms for countering the natural tendency of bureaucrats to pursue their own interests and waste public money. In the current issue of Governance, Donald P. Moynihan, Sanjay K. Pandey and Bradley E. Wright offer an brighter view. Drawing on data from eight public and non-profit organizations, they find that the power of performance management techniques actually depends on the "pro-social, altruistic behavior" of public servants. "When employees believe that their work is making difference in the lives of citizens," they conclude, "they become more likely to use performance tools." Read the article.
Book reviews: World Bank; Toxic Release Inventory; Public-private partnerships
In the current issue of Governance, Salvatore Schiavo-Campo reviews Hypocrisy Trap: The World Bank and the Poverty of Reform by Catherine Weaver. He says it is a "beautifully written and cogently argued" assessment of the World Bank's performance. Read the review.
Julien Etienne of the London School of Economics provides an assessment of Coming Clean: Information Disclosure and Environmental Performance by Michael E. Kraft, Mark Stephan and Troy Abel -- a work of "rich empirical scholarship" on the impact of U.S. Toxic Release Inventory. Read the review.
And Richard Allen of the World Bank looks at the International Handbook on Public-Private Partnerships, edited by Graeme Hodge, Carsten Greve and Anthony Boardman. The volume "will be valuable to students of public policy and public finance as well as practitioners, government officials, and the growing PPP industry." Read the review.
Call for papers: SOG conference in Jerusalem January 5-7, 2014