The end of government-- as we know it: making public policy work
Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2007 - 157 pages
This important book examines how bureaucracy can be updated to deal with the quickly evolving demands of the 21st century and also uses real-world examples to help us understand how new alternatives can best be applied. Richard Waterman, University of KentuckyKamarck properly emphasizes the crucial importance of implementation for achieving results and makes clear that there are alternatives to creating yet another bureaucracy, shuffling the boxes on the organization chart, or creating another layer of management. Any member of Congress who takes Congressional oversight seriouslyand shouldnt they all?would certainly benefit from reading this book. James Davis, Washington University in St. LouisIn the last decades of the 20th century, many political leaders declared that government was, in the words of Ronald Reagan, the problem, not the solution. But on closer inspection, argues Elaine Kamarck, the revolt against government was and is a revolt against bureaucracya revolt that has taken place in first world, developing, and avowedly communist countries alike.To some, this looks like the end of government. Kamarck, however, counters that what we are seeing is the replacement of the traditional bureaucratic approach with new models more in keeping with the information age economy. The End of Government explores the emerging contours of this new, postbureaucratic statethe sequel to government as we know itconsidering: What forms will it take? Will it work in all policy arenas? Will it serve democratic ideals more effectively than did the bureaucratic state of the previous century? Perhaps most significantly, how will leadership be redefined in these new circumstances?Kamarcks provocative work makes it clear that, in addition to figuring out what to do, todays government leaders face an unprecedented number of options when it comes to how to do things. The challenge of government increasingly will be to choose an implementation mode, match it to a policy problem, and manage it well in the postbureaucratic world.Elaine C. Kamarck is lecturer in public policy at Harvard Universitys John F. Kennedy School of Government. Previously, she was a senior policy adviser to the Clinton administration and a political columnist for Newsday and the Los Angeles Times. She is coeditor, with Joseph S. Nye, Jr., of Governance.com: Democracy in the Information Age. Contents: The Revolution in Governing. Matching Means to Ends. Democratic Accountability. The Problem with the Bureaucratic Instinct. The Reinvented Public Sector. Government by Network. Government by Market. Leadership in 21st Century Government.