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Francis Fukuyama on James Q. Wilson

Frank has written a tribute to his friend and colleague James Q. Wilson on his TAI blog.

Writes Frank:

Jim Wilson was known as a conservative who cherished limited government in the American tradition. But he also understood that government was needed for all sorts of functions, and that it could do its job better or worse depending on how it was organized and led. Bureaucracy begins with three cases–the German Army at the beginning of World War II, the Texas prison system, and inner-city Atlanta public schools, in which these very different public agencies achieved dramatically better results as a result of the right leadership and approaches to organization. Wilson understood the critical important of organizational culture as the source of good bureaucratic performance, as opposed to the shifting around of boxes on an org chart that often passes for reform (e.g., the two big reforms of the 2000s, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the reorganization of the intelligence community).

Read the whole thing.

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  • Anthony

    Francis Fukuyama’s essay though concise gives professional and collegial tribute to an accomplished seer of American politics and goverment.

  • Andrew Allison

    A modest proposition: Bureaucrazy.
    As has been suggested by those much wiser than I, the only objective of a bureaucracy is growth. I submit that a successful outcome is purely accidental.

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