“It’s Not the Business Plan but the Execution”
Published on: July 22, 2013
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  • Anthony

    Francis Fukuyama, importance of states and state capacity in producing high quality government turns on institutional historical governing patterns. High quality government is an abstract term when superimposed on various states with different historical institutions. Effective government, utilizing your models/approaches, assumes both centralized state power and operative political and economic systems that have degree of societal inconclusion – a test many 21st century states are yet grappling outside of our noted…

  • Dexter Trask

    Being a product of a public administration program, I would certainly agree with your analysis of the extent to which the prestige of public policy analysis dominates large parts of the field. I found it striking to see the differences in curricula between MPA programs housing in management/business schools and those in public policy/social science departments.

  • JT

    I think it is important to look at policy making and implementation process as a dynamic cycle in which the lessons from past experience feeds into new policy making. For that, candid assessment of the progress made and the lack thereof is critical. An independent accountability function within the broad government architecture such as GAO is key. But a broader framework to push the government to do better has to be present to ensure continuous improvement in government capacity. In that context, the roles that the media, academics and civil societies play are crucial.

  • Scott

    It sounds like education is not the answer for Public Admin – maybe an apprenticeship-system would be more appropriate? I spend a lot of time around the George Mason MPA program and I’m really not sure how much value it’s adding.

    On the implementation side big-think stuff is probably less relevant. Much more about keeping government close to the people it’s governing; administrors need to really identify with the population they’re serving or else things degenerate fast. Although there would certainly be a lot of value in emphasizing caution and redundancies in policy over optimization MBA-style.

  • Andy Freeman

    > What constitutes effective government? I believe that the answer to this lies in some combination of state capacity and bureaucratic autonomy.

    Huh? Bureaucratic autonomy is good only if the bureaucracy is better than what it is being kept separate from.

    Pretty much every DMV is a demonstration that bureaucracies can easily be worse than even the most vile political organization, such as the Detroit city council.

    • Clay Campaigne

      Take a look at the paper linked to in the article if you have access; your point is one of the claims of the paper. That is, the optimal level of autonomy depends on the level of effectiveness (“capacity”) of the bureaucracy.

  • JT

    I think it is important to look at policy making and implementation process as a dynamic cycle in which the lessons from past experience feed into new policy making. For that, candid assessment of the progress made and the lack thereof is critical. An independent accountability function within the broad government architecture such as GAO is key. But a broader framework to push the government to do better has to be present to ensure continuous improvement in government capacity. In that context, the roles that the media, academics and civil societies play are crucial.

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  • Clay Campaigne

    Thanks for the update on the progress of OPO Volume 2! I enjoyed the first one immensely and look forward to this one’s release.

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