The Magazine of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation Spring 2015 Volume 16
Letter from the Director
Communiqué Spring 2015, Volume 16
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation Harvard Kennedy School 79 John F. Kennedy Street Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Welcome to the 16th issue of the Ash Center’s Communiqué magazine, in which we highlight the important work of those engaged with the Center. For example, the #Hack4Congress event (p.6) we cohosted with the OpenGov Foundation provided a dynamic and unique forum for teams comprised of students, academics, public servants, and technologists to address the dysfunction and partisanship that has so significantly impaired the ability of Congress to do its work. And, we recently announced this year’s diverse cohort of 124 Bright Ideas (p.10), which is an initiative of the Innovations in American Government Awards designed to recognize, disseminate, and encourage the replication of a wide range of innovations across all areas of government and within all jurisdictional levels. Finally, as part of our Challenges to Democracy public dialogue series, we cosponsored two JFK Jr. Forum events (p.17) this semester, one on “The Future of Policing” and the other on the state of the Voting Rights Act on its 50th anniversary, both of which are issues very much at the forefront of the American conversation at this time. There is much more to be found in this issue and I hope you will enjoy reading about the efforts of our students, alumni, and scholars as they work to make the world a better place. As always, you can find more information about the work of the Ash Center on our website at ash.harvard.edu.
617-495-0557 www.ash.harvard.edu Director Tony Saich Associate Director for Communications Daniel Harsha Editor Jessica Engelman Design forminform Photography Ben Danner bpperry / iStock FDNY Photo Unit Chones / iStock Cribb Visuals / iStock Mai Jiadi Stephanie Mitchell / Harvard Gazette Zaineb Mohammed Maisie O’Brien Gail Oskin Engr. Restituto Polillo Kinan Al Shaghouri Martha Stewart Cover illustration: Sophie Chou email@example.com
Tony Saich Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation Daewoo Professor of International Affairs Harvard Kennedy School
In this Issue IN THE NEWS
IN THE FIELD
Q+A with Ed Cunningham
Hacking the Hill: #Hack4Congress Helps Unlock the Power of Democratic Participation
Alumni in the Field Humayun Sarabi
Fellows Focus Meet Our New Fellows
Student Focus Travel Grants Support Student Research
On the Bookshelf
Ash Center News and Announcements
Innovating for America’s Future: The Ash Center Honors 124 Bright Ideas in Government
Student Focus Marshall Ganz’s Students Spread the Power of Community Organizing Across the Globe
IN THE NEWS
Q+A with Edward Cunningham With China now the largest global economy as measured by purchasing-power parity, how has its dramatic growth affected international energy markets and the development of alternative sources of energy? China’s rise onto the world economic stage has had a fascinating set of conflicting effects in energy markets, but its rise onto the energy governance stage is perhaps even more interesting and important in the medium to long term. Most broadly, China’s post WTO accession boom since late 2001 provided in part a significant shift to higher energy demand at a global scale, which supported the expectation of ever-higher prices in a range of commodities, from coal to oil to natural gas. Higher fossil fuel prices in turn lead to interesting outcomes. For example, fossil producers are able to produce more fossil fuel because the higher prices merit exploration deeper and in higher risk/higher reward areas of the earth, as well as enable investment into unconventional fossils such as the tar sands of Canada. Such effects of a high-price world work their way through the economic system indirectly. In more direct terms, China’s active industrial policy in the form of high feed-in tariffs (FITs) for wind initially, and then solar, have also dramatically reduced the installed cost of renewable power. While investors of Solyndra and other US solar panel manufacturers that went bankrupt from such a shift in cost ended up bearing the brunt of this swing, US consumers, US solar installation workers, and the climate benefited from a revolution in the economics of wind and solar components. This energy “demand shock” of rapid economic growth in China is quite interesting because the world’s energy governance system has been dominated by the need to moderate and respond to energy supply shocks—the vestige of major oil supply crises in 1973 and 1979 that had global effects. China’s rise has affected prices in a significant manner, but in one that is harder for other major consumers and producers to adjust to. The ways in which China’s growing strategic oil reserves are operated—either to smooth markets in a more active manner or respond to supply crises—increasingly matter and require transparency. As a result, China’s economic weight and impact on energy input and output prices are creating significant strains on China’s historical unwillingness to engage in the sovereignty of other nations, and require degrees of transparency and cooperation in an area historically linked tightly to national security.
Edward Cunningham is director of the Ash Center's China Programs and the HKS Asia Energy and Sustainability Initiative, and an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy.
Communiqué Spring 2015
What was President Xi’s motivation to agree to the US-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change and Clean Energy Cooperation and will China meet its targets? I believe the US-China Joint Announcement is important as a bellwether of change in how the world’s major emitters will treat climate change negotiations moving forward, but its realistic targets do not represent a radical departure from the policies already in place by the US and China. It will also be insufficient. Of course, it is difficult to reach any meaningfully sophisticated level of policy engagement on climate change mitigation without the active participation of the world’s largest emitter—China. China burns nearly as much coal as the rest of the world combined, and has rapidly built a power system that now surpasses that of the US, as well as a fragmented and inefficient industrial heating system that has little emissions policy regulating it. Precisely because the US and China together emit over 40 percent of global C02 gasses, this “G-2” of climate action is the necessary but not sufficient foundation of real policy change at the global level. With the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP21, in Paris nearing in late November, this bilateral agreement will provide much-needed momentum and credibility to a multilateral UN process that seemed to be grinding to a halt. I think it will make it harder for India, South Africa, and other key emitters to skate through the process without real commitments. As with most policy pronouncements in China, this perceived pivot was largely the result of internal decisions that had been made well over a year ago, combined with useful and consistent diplomacy from the US for some time. Domestic pressures to restructure both a highly energy-inefficient industrial sector and China’s coal dependency towards increased natural gas and renewables are more about diversifying and improving a national fuel supply and local environmental concerns than global environmental concerns; but this is an example of where global and local interests coincide fairly well in the long term. Because of reforms in coal pricing, plant closings, and economic restructuring, China was well along on this reform path. Similarly in the US, non-policy drivers that were really about economic changes—i.e., fuel switching to a cheaper natural gas alternative to coal in the power sector, slowing economic growth post-2008—combined with some legislative changes that also put the US on its emissions target course well before the agreement. The key will now be for the US and China to widen the national participants in this negotiation and to deepen the integration to include financial mechanisms, legal mechanisms, clear metrics, and some aspects of common vocabulary when it comes to the inevitable—mutual adaptation to climate change and the externalities that will entail. C
IN THE NEWS
and the U.S. Courts of Appeals.” Conversely, the paper also finds that lawyers are more liberal when compared to the general US population. This corresponds to the nation’s lawyers being roughly centerleft on the ideological spectrum while the nation’s federal appeals courts are center-right. In one of the most significant conclusions drawn from these findings, the paper’s authors suggest that politicians not only rely on ideology when appointing judges to the bench, but that “they do so where it benefits their party the most and when it concerns the most important courts.”
Ash Center Faculty Appointments Christopher Winship, the Diker-Tishman Professor of Sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and a member of the senior faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School, recently joined the Ash Center as a faculty affiliate. Professor Winship’s research focuses on changes in the social and economic status of African-Americans during the 20th century, particularly changes in youth unemployment, marital behavior, and prison incarceration. Since 1994, he has been working with and studying a group of black inner-city ministers known as The Ten Point Coalition and their efforts with the Boston Police Department to deal with youth violence. In 2007, he coauthored Counterfactuals and Causal Inference (Cambridge University Press) with Stephen L. Morgan. The Ash Center welcomed Geoff Mulgan as a senior visiting scholar on January 1 for a three-year appointment. Between 1997 and 2004, Mulgan had various roles in the UK government including director of the government's Strategy Unit and head of Policy in the prime minister's office. Currently, Mulgan is chief executive of Nesta (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), an innovation charity based in the UK. During his tenure at the Center, Mulgan will collaborate closely with the Center’s Innovation Program to help develop an Innovation Workshop Series that will involve senior faculty at HKS and beyond. The workshop will meet approximately three times a year and will focus on identifying the organizational conditions and networks that allow innovations to evolve more quickly when working to address important public problems.
“As cities look for ways to cut red tape and spur small business job growth, regulatory reform holds the key to stimulating local and regional economies,” observed Professor Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government Program at the Center. “By unlocking the power of data and technology, cities now have the ability to streamline regulatory development, licensing and permitting, and compliance in a personalized way that will target bad actors in a meaningful way. This work is being led by some of the most innovative and creative cities in the US, like New York City, Chicago, and Boston, and can be replicated by other cities attempting to create a positive environment for business.”
Maya Sen on Judicial Reform Maya Sen, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Ash Center faculty affiliate, published a study on judicial polarization that was featured in the New York Times. Coauthored with Adam Bonica of Stanford University, The Politics of Selecting the Bench from the Bar: The Legal Profession and Partisan Incentives to Politicize the Judiciary scrutinized the campaign
New Scholarship on Regulatory Reform The Ash Center’s Project on Regulatory Reform for the 21st Century City released a series of white papers and case studies on regulatory reform this spring. The papers touch on a number of regulatory issues that have bedeviled cities across the country including how best to loosen regulatory monopolies on taxis and how best to accommodate and mitigate the explosion in popularity of food trucks in many US cities.
contributions of the nearly 400,000 attorneys in the US to examine politicization and polarization across various tiers of the judiciary. Sen and Bonica conclude, “Judges as a whole are more conservative than the population of attorneys. This is particularly the case among judges who sit in higher, more politically important courts—such as state high courts
Tony Saich Honored by Foreign Policy Tony Saich, director of the Ash Center and Daewoo Professor of International Affairs, has been named to Foreign Policy's Pacific Power Index, a list of 50 people shaping the future of the US-China relationship. David Wertime, a senior editor at Foreign Policy, said in a statement, “Harvard, a name that many Chinese instantly recognize, has played a major role in shaping Chinese perceptions of American higher education. And the ability of the Ash Center, which Professor Saich directs, to communicate American conceptions of good governance directly to rising Chinese leaders has surely had an impact on bilateral ties, and perhaps even internal Chinese politics.”
Comparative Democracy Seminars Professors Tarek Masoud and Candelaria Garay are convening a seminar series on comparative politics this year in which leading political scientists will present their research at the Ash Center. This year’s speakers include Kenneth M. Roberts (Cornell University), whose research focuses on Latin American political economy and the politics of inequality, and Anna Grzymala-Busse (University of Michigan), a scholar of democratization in Eastern Europe whose new book examines the ways in which churches and religious leaders insert themselves into and influence the results of the policymaking process.
Spring 2015 Communiqué
Hacking theHill #Hack4Congress helps unlock the power of democratic participation
While the founders of the American republic may have conceived Congress as the linchpin of our democracy—the branch of government closest and most responsible to the people—few would argue that our contemporary Congress shares much in common with this early republican ideal. The partisanship slowing the legislative process to a grind, doused with ample helpings of nearly unlimited campaign contributions thanks to Citizens United, has soured much of the American public on Congress, with congressional approval ratings hovering in the low teens. Recent years have seen productivity in both houses of Congress—as measured by newly enacted laws—as among the lowest on record since World War II. “Our democracy is in trouble in part because of the distance between the American people and Congress and because Congress just can’t get business done,” remarked Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and HKS Academic Dean.
“Our democracy is in trouble in part because of the distance between the American people and Congress and because Congress just can’t get business done.” Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and HKS Academic Dean Something has to give. Or, at least new solutions have to be found to make Congress more responsive to the concerns of everyday Americans. That was the premise of the Ash Center’s novel #Hack4Congress “not-just-for-technologists” event held over a blustery weekend in early February that drew hundreds of people to the Kennedy School to learn, discuss, and propose a range of solutions to strengthen Congress. In partnership with the OpenGov Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit dedicated to strengthening citizen participation in government, the Ash Center convened a group of technologists, academics, students, designers, and former public servants to tackle a variety of challenges related to the lawmaking process including those focused on improving cross-partisan dialogue, modernizing congressional participation, rebuilding trust, and strengthening campaign finance reform. Conceived by Maggie McKinley, a Democracy Fellow at the Ash Center and Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, #Hack4Congress was an opportunity to not only address dysfunction in Congress, but to tackle the wider issue of political apathy and engagement, particularly among millennials. “We have a culture of apathy and resignation right now that we can’t solve all these problems,” said McKinley, “but these types of events will bring folks together who might not have seen themselves as part of the solution and get them engaged.” Tony Saich, director of the Ash Center, said, “We are committed to providing resources to our students and the broader policy community to help tackle some
Spring 2015 Communiqué
of the most intractable problems facing our democracy today, such as how to get Congress back on track as an institution representative of the American polity as a whole.” Unlike traditional hackathons, which tend to be tech-centric gatherings revolving around computer programming, McKinley and the Ash Center envisioned #Hack4Congress as bridging the gap between technologists and public policy. “It was very important that #Hack4Congress encompass innovations beyond the technology sector,” said McKinley. “Academics, policy specialists, lawyers—they all have tremendous insight into how to tackle congressional dysfunction. #Hack4Congress wasn’t solely a technological challenge, which is what made it such a compelling event.” Seamus Kraft, the executive director of the OpenGov Foundation and a former congressional staffer himself, worked closely with the Ash Center to help make #Hack4Congress a reality. “Most hackathons focus on straight coding— straight applications—they don’t focus on the softer human side,” said Kraft. “People who are attending #hack4Congress come from a vast array of interests and backgrounds—designers, developers, political scientists, people who work or used to work in government—you name it.” In fact, nearly half of the approximately 150 participants at #Hack4Congress did not hail from traditional technology backgrounds. Brandon Andrews, a former defense policy staffer for Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who now works for a Washington-based public relations firm, traveled up from the nation’s capital to participate in #Hack4Congress. Andrews’ team, the “Dear Colleagues,” one of 13 competing in the event, concentrated their efforts on improving the functionality and increasing the transparency of dear colleague letters, which are in essence interoffice memoranda on Capitol Hill and constitute the bulk of formal correspondence between members of Congress. “While I was on the Hill, members of Congress would send dear colleague letters soliciting congressional support or opposition to a variety of executive branch activities—and even those of private corporations,” said Andrews. “Since legislation is increasingly difficult to pass, a lot of work is being done with these letters.” With legislative output plummeting in recent years, letters from Congress have in many ways supplanted legislation as one of the primary vehicles through which Capitol Hill expresses or tries to influence nearly every aspect of government operation.
"We are committed to providing resources to our students and the broader policy community to help tackle some of the most intractable problems facing our democracy today." Tony Saich, Ash Center Director The problem, Andrews explains, is that unlike actual bills and amendments, these sorts of letters rarely make it into the hands of the public; nor are there any institutional methods for capturing or otherwise archiving what has become an important part of the work of Congress. Team Dear Colleagues’ solution didn’t employ lines of code and slick graphics, but was as simple as creating a Google group to store dear colleague records for the public. The failure of Congress to better embrace technological innovation, nonetheless, weighed on the mind of many at #Hack4Congress. Tomas Insua, a master in public policy student and research assistant at the Ash Center, came to the Kennedy School with a tech background having previously worked at Google. For Insua, this failure to embrace technology is exacerbating our democratic deficit. “We’re living in the 21st century, but our democratic institutions function exactly the same as they did 200 years ago. Technology has revolutionized everything—be it the economy, media, education—yet our democratic system remains unchanged,” said Insua. “I think this explains the really low levels of trust in our political system. As a result constituents aren’t engaged and don’t feel represented by our political system.”
Communiqué Spring 2015
Much of this breakdown, argues Kraft, can be attributed to time, transparency, and technology. “Members of Congress, their staffs, and constituents—everyone are leading very busy lives,” said Kraft. “Even engaged citizens don’t have enough time.” William Delahunt, a retired Democratic Congressman who represented much of the South Shore of Massachusetts and the Cape in the House of Representatives for nearly a decade and a half before retiring in 2010, echoed Kraft’s sentiments. “My life was scheduled in fifteen-minute increments,” said Delahunt. “There was no time to stop and think about the issues.”
“I wanted to participate in the hackathon because I'm both interested and hopeful about the potential of technology to reinvigorate American democracy by recuperating citizen participation and citizen empowerment. I think real citizen power in our democracy is low, and technology presents a lot of opportunities to address that problem.” Jessie Landerman, MPP ’15
TOP Team working on their solution at #Hack4Congress ABOVE Academic Dean Archon Fung, Senior Lecturer David King, Climenko Fellow and HLS Lecturer Maggie McKinley, and Bill Delahunt, former US Representative (D-MA) at the #Hack4Congress opening panel BELOW Members of the #Hack4Congress winning team, "HillHack": Taylor Woods MPP '15, Chris Baily, Kat Kane MPP '15, and Jessie Landerman MPP '15
Participating in a panel discussion to kick off #Hack4Congress, Delahunt tried to dispel the impression that members of Congress live the high life in Washington, “I slept on a cot in a living room of a shared house.” While the thought of Congressmen sleeping on cots may be enough to combat notions of lavish and carefree congressional lifestyles for even the most hardened critic of the legislative branch, the fact remains that constituents feel far removed from the daily machinations of Capitol Hill. Jessie Landerman, an HKS master in public policy student saw an opportunity to bridge this gap by helping to develop a new platform that allows constituents to better engage with congressional offices. “I wanted to participate in the hackathon because I'm both interested and hopeful about the potential of technology to reinvigorate American democracy by recuperating citizen participation and citizen empowerment. I think real citizen power in our democracy is low, and technology presents a lot of opportunities to address that problem.” Landerman’s #Hack4Congress team designed “Congress Connect” as a platform for strengthening the direct connection between constituents and Congress. She envisions Congress Connect as a resource to allow constituents to better schedule meetings with congressional offices as well as prepping those same constituents to ensure that their message is communicated effectively. “By increasing the quality and quantity of in-person meetings between Congressional representatives and their constituents, we can increase citizen voice and citizen power, and counterbalance the growing power of lobbyists who, at times, represent private interests rather than public ones,” said Landerman. For her efforts, Landerman and her teammates were named the overall winners of #Hack4Congress in Cambridge and were awarded with a trip to Congress to present their proposal. The team will be joined on Capitol Hill later this year along with the winners of separate #Hack4Congress events the Ash Center is holding in San Francisco and Washington. On the Hill, the Ash Center will be convening a panel of members of Congress and senior congressional technology staffers to review and give feedback to the winners of the Cambridge, San Francisco, and Washington hackathons. “After getting feedback from Congress about how best to design and implement the tool, we hope to pull together seed money to pilot it either for select Congressional offices or at the state or local level,” said Landerman. For the Ash Center and the Kennedy School, “the longer term picture is to create many opportunities for all kinds of Americans from all walks of life to actively contribute to this project of improving American democracy,” said Fung. For more information, visit hack4congress.org.
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Innovating for America’s Future The Ash Center Honors 124 Bright Ideas in Government The Bright Ideas program, an initiative of the Innovations in American Government Awards, is designed to recognize, disseminate, and encourage the replication of a wide range of innovations and promote promising practices in government. This year’s Bright Ideas, selected by teams of expert evaluators, includes 124 programs and initiatives across all areas of government in the US. The Bright Ideas program not only enables the Ash Center to provide greater recognition to innovations in government but also provides an opportunity to identify and examine current and emerging trends in governance in the United States. The 2015 Bright Ideas provide a rich collection of government initiatives from policy areas as varied as criminal justice, education, community development, transportation, and health care, and represent all levels of government, from school districts to the federal government. While there is significant variation both across and within these policy areas, the following trends emerged among this year’s Bright Ideas.
Communiqué Spring 2015
Improving Government through Data Analytics Reflecting the recent increase in the collection and use of data in the public sector, a number of Bright Ideas programs focus on using data analytics to solve problems in areas such as homelessness, policing and criminal justice, and public safety. In New York City, the Risk Based Inspection System allows the city’s Fire Department to prioritize building inspections based on risk, as quantified through past inspection information and incidents of fire, reducing the number of injuries and deaths to the public and first responders. The DNA Hit Integration Program from San Diego County, California, provides prosecutors with real-time access to information on DNA hits related to their current caseload, making both prosecution and exoneration more efficient and timely. In Wisconsin State, the Wrong Way Driver Alert System gathers information on wrong-way driving and assists law enforcement with providing timely response while targeting problem
areas and mitigating reoccurrence. Finally, the Homelessness Analytics Initiative—a collaboration between the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development—is intended to provide users with access to national, state, and local information about homelessness among the general population and veterans, risk and protective factors for homelessness, services, and resources.
LEFT The Risk Based Inspection System allows New York City firefighters to prioritize building inspections based on risk using data analytics BELOW North Carolina Innovation
Using Technology for Better Government
Lab: An intern from a STEM high
Many Bright Ideas use technology to increase efficiency and improve service for constituents. I-Jury: Online Juror Impaneling from Travis County, Texas, allows summonsed jurors to answer qualifying questions, screen for exemptions, and request deferrals using an online system, preventing unnecessary courtroom visits and reducing work absences and life disruptions. In Shawnee County, Kansas, residents planning visits to the Motor Vehicle office can register for a spot in line using their smartphone or computer, and receive alerts as their turn approaches to avoid long and frustrating lobby waits. The city of Chicago takes the relationship between citizens and technology one step further with its Civic User Testing Group, a set of Chicago residents who test civic apps and help make software that improves the quality of life for residents through beta testing and providing feedback to developers. Two notable technology programs, one state and one local, from Hawaii were named to this year’s cohort of Bright Ideas. The city and county of Honolulu’s 2013 Neighborhood Board Digital Elections converted what has been a historically paper- and postal-based election process to an all-digital one. The state’s my.hawaii.gov delivers 'Your Government—Your Way’ in a novel approach to the gamification of government, leveraging existing portal architecture and a single sign-on system, engaging citizens through the use of badges, points, and a leaderboard and at the same time saving time, money, and paper.
strates visual analytics he worked
school in North Carolina demonon as a project to the state CIO and Governor Pat McCrory
Reaching Specific Populations Several Bright Ideas programs focus on expanding education and career development for populations traditionally left behind by the system, including people with special needs and economically disadvantaged children and adults. The Mentoring Program and Youth Directors Council from the city of Miami Beach, Florida, provide a safe space for at-risk youth to spend their after-school and weekend hours, offering access to study resources and SAT-prep along with career-search training and community mentors. Also in Florida, the city of Hialeah’s Special Population Initiative uses community spaces to provide alternative education for individuals with disabilities, including children with severe autism, and helps relieve families of some of the high cost of care for those with special needs. In Pearce County, Washington, the Block Play program uses libraries as a space for at-risk children to develop early-learning skills through guided block play, and trains parents to guide this play at home, focusing on developing literacy and STEM skills. Other programs focus on community development and cultural preservation. For example, the Tribal Best Practices program from the state of Oregon’s Addictions and Mental Health Division Tribal Liaison helps adapt state-mandated, evidence-based practices to meet cultural and traditional standards of the Native American populations, developing best practices that address statewide goals without unnecessarily burdening these unique communities with distinct histories. New Jersey’s Statewide Clinical Outreach Program for the Elderly provides crisis intervention and stabilization, consultation, and training for the management of mental health and behavioral issues in older adults (55+) residing in nursing homes and other residential care facilities. It functions as a multidisciplinary team consisting of geriatric specialists, including a pyschiatrist, advanced nurse practitioners, a psychologist, and master’s level clinicians, whose members are also available 24/7 in crisis settings to prevent unnecessary inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. In addition to the Homelessness Analytics Initiative described earlier, several
Bright Ideas seek to improve the experience of United States veterans as they return home and to the workforce. The city of Newton, Massachusetts, established a one-stop, regional Veterans Service Center to address the pressing need for a more integrated support system for veterans. The center offers assistance in securing benefits, health care, child care, housing, education, and employment in an environment where veterans can socialize, network, dine, and listen to a speaker. The Small Business Administration’s Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship recognizes entrepreneurship as an essential, and sizable, element of economic growth across the United States and empowers female veterans to develop the business skills necessary to turn their business-ownership dreams into growth ventures. And, the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Acquisition Academy’s Warriors to Workforce Program trains post-9/11 veterans with a service-connected disability and a high-school degree with little to no college education to serve in the mission-critical roles of contract specialists and program managers.
Public Participation and Civic Engagement In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Ash Center, the Center launched its Challenges to Democracy public dialogue series. In conjunction with this series, the Center is offering a special award, the Roy and Lila Ash Award for Public Engagement in Government, to recognize the most novel and effective approaches
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LEFT The Tribal Best Practices program from the state of Oregon’s Addictions and Mental Health Division Tribal Liaison helps adapt practices to meet cultural and traditional standards of Native American populations RIGHT A rendering of New York City's LinkNYC, a firstof-its-kind communications network that will bring the fastest available municipal Wi-Fi to millions of New Yorkers, small businesses, and visitors
for increasing public participation and engagement. Accordingly, many of this year’s Bright Ideas focus on engaging citizens in government processes that affect their lives, seeking their input and ideas to ensure that government is meeting the needs of those it serves. For example, faced with a growing population of residents of Asian origin with low levels of participation in local government, the Increase Asian Residents’ Civic Participation program from Lexington, Massachusetts, focuses on identifying barriers to participation and reaching out to Asian residents to encourage greater involvement in government, including seeking candidates from those populations to run for local office. The Citizen Survey Data for Performance program from Kansas City, Missouri, uses survey data of community feedback on city departments and their operations at their monthly KCStat meetings, where departments share their progress with the mayor and answer questions from the public who interact via livestream, social media, and in-person attendance. The Oregon Solution’s Network fosters communications between government and citizens groups while encouraging collaboration between state agencies to ensure the public’s priorities and those of not-for-profit and business-sector partners to address regional and community concerns. Finally, the LinkNYC/Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge in New York City through a wide engagement effort invited the public to create prototypes that imagine the future of city payphones in planning what will replace them. Over 125 submissions helped to inform the city’s RFP to transform payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots and communication hubs, eventually leading to the creation and passage of the LinkNYC program, a first-of-its-kind network that will bring the fastest available municipal Wi-Fi to millions of New Yorkers, small businesses, and visitors.
A number of this year’s Bright Ideas programs seek to create efficiency through the use of technological applications.
International Space Apps Challenge National Aeronautics and Space Administration
VA Mobile Health United States Veterans Administration
Cultivating Innovation In the spirit of the Bright Ideas program, several initiatives selected for recognition are themselves fostering innovation in government, such as the Employee Innovation Challenge of the city of Hamilton in Ohio, a contest that encourages city employees to submit ideas and work across departments to improve processes and address local challenges, increasing employee engagement. At the North Carolina Innovation Lab, state employees, students, and private partners collaborate to test new technology systems before making substantial investments. In Washington State, the Innovation Exemption policies remove procurement rules for purchases intended to introduce new technologies and ideas to state government. The 2014 Multi-City Innovation Campaign is a part-
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How’s My Waterway? Environmental Protection Agency
My Resource Connection Johnson County, Kansas
nership of the cities of Boston, Nashville, Palo Alto, and Raleigh with a vision to create a process and environment where developers can build scalable and sustainable civic apps that address shared challenges across communities through a unique lowdollar procurement approach. IdeaBox is an initiative developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to transform great ideas from employees into impactful projects that are successfully implemented at the agency. To facilitate replication at other government agencies, the IdeaBox team has shared online its operating plan and technology source code. The US Department of State and the crowdfunding site RocketHub have partnered to support innovative solutions to some of the world's toughest challenges by accelerating projects awarded by the Department’s Alumni Engagement and Innovation Fund, creating investment options beyond government support, providing visibility, supporting sustainability, and accelerating social innovations. The full list of all 124 Bright Ideas can be found online at the Ash Center’s website and on the Government Innovators Network. C
IN THE FIELD
Alumni in the Field Humayun Sarabi Is Working for Women’s Rights in Afghanistan After years of war and a long history of tribal rule, living conditions in Afghanistan are hard and can be especially brutal for women. Arranged marriages and child marriages are not uncommon and many women’s lives are marked by repressive customs and domestic violence. A 2013 UNICEF survey found that 78 percent of girls drop out of school by the fifth grade and a 2012 Human Rights Watch report estimated that 87 percent of Afghan women experience at least one form of physical, sexual, or psychological violence and/or forced marriage in their lifetime. “The story of women in Afghanistan is often of tragedy—of a systematic and widespread violation of their rights,” says HKS Alumnus and Roy and Lila Ash Fellow Humayun Sarabi. “It is largely due to a lack of education that many people do not see their loved ones’ humanity and these crimes continue.” Following his graduation from the Kennedy School in 2011, Sarabi founded Women Empowered Afghanistan (WE-Afghanistan) with like-minded colleagues to confront the oppression and violence against women he had seen throughout his career as a humanitarian worker in the region. “We were interested in starting a nonprofit to work towards women’s rights in that part of the world, but in a different way,” remarks Sarabi. “Because most other NGOs in the area help women, but in a temporary or materialistic sense—they build shelters or provide clothing, which at some point ends and the women are back in the same situation. We’re trying to change how women are seen across the culture.” In October 2014, WE-Afghanistan launched its first major initiative, the Human Rights Journalism Training Program in Kabul. Funded by the Journalists and Writers Foundation, the program is training 15 young and new journalists to use the media specifically to advance women’s rights in Afghanistan. For example, as part of their training, the journalists are instructed to write a profile describing an instance of domestic abuse and must include a list of resources for women in the article. Participants are drawn from across the country and have backgrounds in law, human rights, and journalism. The program spans six months with the first two months devoted to training on journalistic principles, safety, human rights, and democracy. It culminates with an internship at different media organizations, including print, television, and radio outlets, where the journalists submit independent reports for publication. Reports will be drawn from the journalists’ investigative research on human rights abuses, especially those occurring in rural and remote areas. Their stories will be translated into English and published on the WE-Afghanistan website and other venues, raising consciousness in the West of
“Many Afghan women don’t know how to access justice or even whether their rights are being violated in the first place,” says Sarabi.
women’s rights violations in the country. On a local level, the reports will serve to humanize Afghan women and make women aware of their rights. “Many Afghan women don’t know how to access justice or even whether their rights are being violated in the first place,” says Sarabi. “Often the only thing they know is that they’re being beaten up, and many women believe that it is their husband’s right to hurt them. We’re using journalism to advocate that domestic violence is a crime under the laws of Afghanistan and there are places they can go to receive help.” Sarabi hopes that WE-Afghanistan will soon have the resources to build schools in Afghanistan, though its current focus is on empowering women through its journalism training program. “Many of the problems in Afghanistan can be traced back to the lack of education,” says Sarabi.
“It is easy for the Taliban to convince an illiterate person that women should be confined inside their homes based on religious principles, but is harder to convince an educated person of that. I believe that if we had more educated Afghans, then we would have a stronger, safer democratic society.” Sarabi credits his time at the Harvard Kennedy School and his fellowship through the Ash Center for his views on the intersection of women’s rights, education, and democracy. Sarabi reflects, “The seminars I attended and the research I conducted at the Ash Center expanded my knowledge of how democracy should function.” Sarabi continues, “I see education as the biggest pillar of democracy and although there isn’t one idea or initiative that can solve all of Afghanistan’s problems, I believe that increasing access to education, and informing women of their rights, are good first steps.” C
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IN THE FIELD
Student Focus Travel Grants Support Student Research Each year, the Ash Center provides travel grants to HKS students conducting field research for their Policy Analysis Exercises or Second Year Policy Analyses. This winter, the Center supported 19 students on projects that are advised by Ash-affiliated faculty or that explore topics aligned with the Center’s research and programmatic agendas. Through the Program on China and Globalization Fund and the Hui Fund for Generating Powerful Ideas, the Center’s China Programs also provided travel funding for 12 Harvard students travelling to China for research projects over the winter break. Brendan Brady The Role of Decentralization in a Peace Settlement in Myanmar Iris Braun Innovation in Delivering Social Safety Nets and Financial Inclusion: Should India's Administration Leapfrog to Mobile Payments? Charles Data Alemi Improving Customs Revenue Collection in South Sudan Clio Dintilhac and Amri Ilmma Informing or Reminding? Potential Strategies to Increase Compliance Rate for CCT Program in Indonesia Philip Dy and Tori Stephens Bridging the Humanitarian Divide: Improving Coordination between Local Governments and International Actors Mabel Josune Gabriel Fernandez Raskin (Rice for the Poor) Program Reform Ruixi Hao* Effective Philanthropy: What Private Foundations in China Can Learn from their Western Counterparts? Jessica Huey and Rohan Mascarenhas Federal Highway Administration: State Use of GARVEE Bonds and Other Innovative Finance Delivery Tools Victoria Kabak and Christine Kidd The Right Youth, in the Right Place, for the Right Reasons: Improving Juvenile Probation in Massachusetts Stephen Leonelli* Universal Periodic Review: A New Tool for China’s LGBT Movement? Luhang Li* Electric Vehicle — Solving Beijing's Endemic Pollution Problem Xi Liu* Girls' Dream Project Mary Rose Mazzola Certified Batterer Programs' Effect on Domestic Violence Recidivism
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Reetu Mody Community Reinvestment for Those Most Impacted by Incarceration Liliana Olarte Creating Good Jobs in Indonesia Joanna Penn Structuring Public Opinion: Lessons from Scotland's Independence Referendum for Britain's Membership of the EU Reshma Ramachandran* China Policy Tools for Increasing Access to Affordable Biologic Medicines Rivan Royondo Diagnosing Factors Impeding Learning in Indonesia’s Remote Rural Areas Yunjung Song Tax Privacy: Taxpayers’ Big Data Disclosure for Public Use in Korea He Tian* Industrial Upgrades in Coastal China Yuman Wang* The China Development Bank's Strategic Options in Africa Zou Xun* Communicable Diseases and Reproductive Health among Migrant Workers in Factories and Plants Jingyi Zhang* Consumer City: The Impact of Amenities and Mixed Land Use on Housing Price in Shanghai Yinan Zheng* Accelerating the Implementation of the Upcoming Waste Charging Policy in Hong Kong Nada Zohdy Advising External Actors on Supporting Civic Participation in the Arab World * Travel grant provided by the Ash Center’s China Programs
TOP Reetu Mody at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, California ABOVE LEFT Philip Dy and Tori Stephens with Mayor Manuel Que of the Municipality of Dulag in the Philippines ABOVE RIGHT Lance Li at the Suzhou Automotive Research Center at Tsinghua University in China RIGHT Iris Braun with the JPAL Gwalior Field Team in India BOTTOM Brendan Brady meets with U Htay Oo, ViceChairman of the Union Solidarity and Development Party, in the capital of Myanmar
IN THE FIELD
Student Focus Marshall Ganz’s Students Spread the Power of Community Organizing Across the Globe Kanoko Kamata, former Roy and Lila Ash Fellow and MPA ‘12
Fifty nonprofit leaders, social movement activists, and public-sector officials from across Japan convened in Tokyo in December 2014 to learn some of the leadership strategies and organizing techniques employed successfully in the US and elsewhere. Hosted by Community Organizing Japan (COJ), the event was something of a novelty in a nation reputed to have little tradition of civic engagement. Participants were encouraged to step outside their comfort zones, engaging in the dynamic storytelling, strategizing, and team-building exercises fundamental to the practice of community organizing. Kanoko Kamata, an HKS alumna and former Roy and Lila Ash Fellow at the Ash Center, founded COJ in 2013 and invited HKS Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Ash Center affiliate Marshall Ganz to collaborate with her and her team of local coaches in leading a series of community organizing workshops over the past year. Kamata first encountered community organizing while a student in Ganz’s course on Organizing: People, Power, and Change at the Kennedy School. “I was very new to the idea and I was skeptical about its usefulness in other countries besides the US,” says Kamata. “But the more I learned about community organizing, the more I understood that it’s fundamental to human society for people to come together and solve problems.” In Ganz’s semester-long class, students learn not only the theoretical and historical significance of collective action, but are required to create their own organizing campaign by mobilizing a constituency to achieve a shared purpose and clear outcome.
The multiday workshops that Ganz works with local leadership to conduct in Japan and elsewhere around the world including Jordan, China, Colombia, and Canada, offer participants an introduction to leadership, organizing, and public narrative. Based on Ganz’s teaching, a research project with the Sierra Club, and development at scale in the 2007– 2008 Obama for President Campaign, the workshops provide participants with an opportunity to experience fundamental organizing practices and explore their utility in meeting challenges they face in their own communities. Five practices are central to Ganz’s coursework on community organizing. The first involves what Ganz calls “public narrative”: a “story of self,” a “story of us,” and a “story of now.” The story of self explains why the organizer is called to leadership and it can be a challenge for those unaccustomed to sharing their personal histories in a public setting. “The story of self was a particularly interesting concept for the COJ attendees,” says Kamata. “Some people were hesitant at first because people in Japan don’t expect to tell their story, but it was exciting for them to see how this practice can build relationships quickly and deeply.” The story of us is an answer to the question: what values as a community call us to action? The story of now is the challenge to our communal values that demands present action. “Say you are sick due to environmental hazards in your neighborhood,” says Kamata. “That’s the story of self—it’s what motivated you to care about the environment. The story of us is that the environ-
ment is important to everyone in the surrounding community and the story of now is that we need to act immediately to protect the environment.” The four other practices developed by Ganz include building relationships, structuring collaborative leadership, strategizing how to turn available resources into power to accomplish clear goals, and achieving measurable outcomes “on the ground.” Students in his organizing class at HKS learn organizing and leadership skills with which to replicate the training and share effective organizing practices with a wider audience. “Learning to be a leader and an organizer is a skill,” says Ganz. “It’s a lot like riding a bike. You can read 10 books on the topic, but how do you really learn to ride a bike? You get on it. You fall. And, then you find the courage to learn from your failures and try again. That’s how you master any skill and that’s how you learn organizing.” Many of Ganz’s former students put these skills to work after they graduate, including those who have gone on to become organizers themselves, such as Nisreen Haj Ahmed, co-founder of Ahel in Jordan; Predrag Stojicic, co-founder of Serbia on the Move in Serbia; and Cecilia Barja, who represents Colombia for Fundacion Avina and is a leader of Narrativa Publica in the Amazon. Ganz remains connected to them as well as other Harvard alumni through the Leading Change Network, a community of educators, researchers, and practitioners committed to developing organizing leadership and empowering people to act on their values. For his students that opt not to pursue a career in organizing, they leave his class with a valuable understanding of leadership, group dynamics, and the role of collective action in strengthening democracy. Mick Power, a current HKS master’s in public policy student, says of his experience in Marshall’s class: “Students in Marshall's class are required not just to learn, but to organize, so being part of a group of student leaders working to end racism, homelessness, religious intolerance, violence, and inequality in their communities was a weekly inspiration. I think the fact that so many of his students are still working in the teams and communities that they discovered through his class is a testament to Marshall's genuine passion for teaching, and to how much of himself he gives to his work and his students.” C
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Fellows Focus Meet Our New Fellows
This semester we welcomed 11 new fellows to the Ash Center.
and her research focuses on taxation in Europe.
Carnegie Fellowship Through a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Center began supporting promising Arab social scientists in the fall of 2014. The Carnegie scholars explore possible options for effective governance across a range of policy domains in this dangerously troubled part of the world. The Center's spring semester Carnegie Fellow is Omayma Elsheniti, who received her PhD in Economics at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on labor economics, economics of education, and economic development in the Middle East.
HKS Indonesia Program This semester, the HKS Indonesia Program welcomed Budy Resosudarmo as a Senior Practitioner Fellow. His research topic is “Rural Development and the Impact of the Strategic Village Development Plan (RESPEK) Program in Papua, Indonesia.”
ABOVE (left to right) Some of our fellows this semester: FAN Zhihua,
Democracy Program The Ash Center’s Democracy Fellowships support predoctoral and postdoctoral scholars as well as practitioners in research areas related to democratic governance. This semester, Rikki Dean joined the Center. She is a PhD candidate in Social Policy at the London School of Economics. This semester we also welcomed Emer Mulligan to the Center as a Visiting Scholar. She is the Head of School at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, National University of Ireland Galway,
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Innovations in Government Program Faculty, doctoral, and postdoctoral students serve as Innovation Fellows for varying tenures throughout the academic year at the Ash Center. The Center supports academic scholarship focused on its core research areas, including innovations in public participation and political participation in non-democracies. In January, we welcomed Geoff Mulgan as a Senior Visiting Scholar. Currently, Mulgan is chief executive of Nesta (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), an innovations charity in the UK. This semester we also welcomed Pepe Strathoff as a Visiting Scholar. He is a PhD Candidate in Business Administration at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, where his research focuses on public value management.
WANG Kaiyuan, ZHANG Qi, Pepe Strathoff, Omayma Elsheniti, Budy Resosudarmo, and MA Mingjie
Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia The Rajawali Fellows Program allows predoctoral and postdoctoral scholars as well as practitioners the freedom to pursue independent research projects on public policy issues related to Asia, with the help of the Ash Center’s Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia and other Harvard resources. The Center welcomed five new Rajawali Fellows this semester: CHEN Wen, PhD, Associate Professor, Shenzhen University FAN Zhihua, General Manager, Baoshang Bank MA Mingjie, PhD, Deputy Director for Technical & Economics Research, Development Research Center, PRC State Council WANG Kaiyuan, Chairman, HEDA Group ZHANG Qi, Deputy Director for International Economics Research, Development Research Center, PRC State Council
IN THE NEWS
Event Snapshots Challenges to Democracy: The Future of Policing February 5, 2015 In February, the Ash Center cosponsored a JFK Jr. Forum event on “Challenges to Democracy: The Future of Policing,” which explored how recent episodes of police violence and subsequent demonstrations have laid bare the corrosive distrust that defines relations between citizens and police in many communities across the country. The speakers included Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey of the Philadelphia Police Department; Atiba Goff, who is an associate professor of Social Psychology at UCLA and a visiting scholar of the Malcolm Weiner Center for Social Policy this year; and Houston Mayor Annise Parker. HKS Dean David Ellwood moderated the discussion, which focused on how citizens’ perceptions of police and the criminal justice system are often shaped by race, and how communities can work to develop more effective and democratic law enforcement agencies. The speakers outlined several solutions to improve community-police relations, including: increasing training programs for officers in the areas of race, poverty, substance abuse, and mental health; educating the public on the roles and responsibilities of police officers; and encouraging community involvement in shaping local police forces. While the speakers acknowledged that reforms are necessary within law enforcement agencies across the country, they stressed that recent events in Ferguson and New York City are part of a larger system of inequality, including racial disparities in education funding and a punitive criminal justice system that makes it very difficult for ex-offenders to participate fully in society.
50 Years after the Voting Rights Act: Strategies for Moving Forward February 18, 2015 To mark the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965, the Ash Center and the Harvard Institute of Politics convened a panel discussion in the JFK Jr. Forum in February. Alex Keyssar, the Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy and an Ash Center affiliate, moderated the conversation with Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-VA), a senior House Democrat active on civil rights issues who was the first African-American elected to Congress from Virginia since Reconstruction. Joining Professor Keyssar and Congressman Scott was Penda Hair, a civil-rights advocate and cofounder and co-director of the Advancement Project, a racial justice organization spearheading litigation that challenges voter restrictions, discriminatory electoral provisions, and other civil rights violations across the nation. The panelists discussed strategies for responding to the wave of legislation at the state level seeking to impose additional burdens on voting, spurred on by the US Supreme Court's 2013 decision in Shelby v. Holder that struck down a key section of the VRA. During the discussion, Hair recounted her legal work fighting against a variety of restrictive voting provisions in court. Congressman Scott described his surprise to opposition to rewriting the VRA to conform with the Shelby case, “We didn’t expect this kind of resistance to such a minor voting rights bill.” A strong supporter of the VRA’s requirement that certain jurisdictions receive federal approval known as “preclearance” prior to implementing changes to local voting laws, Congressman Scott said the provision worked as intended because prior to its enactment, states were “essentially rewarded for cheating” by discriminating against African-American voters. Those states, he said, “earned preclearance” through the poll taxes, literacy taxes, and voter intimidation.
Project on Municipal Innovation Advisory Group March 26–28, 2015 The Project on Municipal Innovation Advisory Group (PMI-AG) met for the 13th time at Harvard Kennedy School in March. PMI-AG is comprised of chiefs of staff, deputy mayors, and policy directors from the country’s 35 largest and most creative cities. Funded through Living Cities, the goal of this network is to enhance
Dean David Ellwood, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, and UCLA Professor Phillip Goff discuss The Future of Policing
HKS Professor Alex Keyssar, Penda Hair of the Advancement Project, and Congressman Robert "Bobby" Scott (D-VA) assess the Voting Rights Act on its 50th anniversary
Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government program, makes remarks at the March meeting of the Project on Municipal Innovation Advisory Group
the quality of urban life by connecting city hall leaders to innovative ideas and then supporting the replication and implementation of those ideas. In partnership with Living Cities, the Ash Center convenes two PMI-AG member in-person meetings per year. The theme of the March meeting was Civic and Community Engagement in Government Decision Making, from a City Hall Perspective. The PMI-AG members discussed civic and community engagement in relation to Collective Impact, an approach that represents the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a complex social problem; the policing crisis; and open data, performance management, and application development.
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On the Bookshelf
Ethics in Public Life: Good Practitioners in a Rising Asia
Natural Disaster Management in the Asia-Pacific
Kenneth Winston Palgrave Macmillan, 2015
Caroline Brassard, David W. Giles, Arnold M. Howitt, Eds. Springer, 2015
The topic of moral competence is generally neglected in the study of public management and policy, yet it is critical to any hope we might have for strengthening the quality of governance and professional practice. What does moral competence consist of? How is it developed and sustained? Kenneth Winston addresses these questions through close examination of selected practitioners in Asian countries making life-defining decisions in their work. The protagonists include a doctor in Singapore, a political activist in India, a mid-level bureaucrat in central Asia, a religious missionary in China, and a journalist in Cambodiaâ€”each struggling with ethical challenges that shed light on what it takes to act effectively and well in public life. Together they bear witness to the ideal of public service, exercising their personal gifts for the well-being of others and demonstrating that, even in difficult circumstances, the reflective practitioner can be a force for good.
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The Asia-Pacific region is one of the most vulnerable to a variety of natural and manmade hazards. This edited book brings together scholars and senior public officials having direct experience in dealing with or researching recent major natural disasters in the region. The chapters focus on disaster preparedness and management, including pre-event planning and mitigation; crisis leadership and emergency response; and disaster recovery. Specific events discussed in this book include a broad spectrum of disasters such as tropical storms and typhoons in the Philippines; earthquakes in China; tsunamis in Indonesia, Japan, and Maldives; and bushfires in Australia. The book aims to generate discussions about improved risk reduction strategies throughout the region and seeks to provide a comparative perspective across countries in order to draw lessons from three perspectives: public policy, humanitarian systems, and community engagement.
Economics of the Public Sector Jay K. Rosengard and Joseph E. Stiglitz W. W. Norton & Company, Fourth Edition, 2015 This revision of a classic text by an expert author team addresses such questions as what should be the role of government in society? How should it design its programs? How should tax systems be designed to promote both efficiency and fairness? Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and new coauthor Jay Rosengard use their firsthand policy-advising experience to address these key issues of public-sector economics in this modern and accessible fourth edition. The updated edition of Economics of the Public Sector focuses on the heavily changed, post-global recession world. This approach includes a discussion on global public goods in Chapter 5, which addresses the difficulty of coping with public health and security threats when they transcend government coping mechanisms, while Chapter 8 examines corporatization and the transition from government enterprise to private enterprise.
Governance and Politics of China, Fourth Edition Tony Saich Palgrave Macmillan, 2015 Tony Saich, Ash Center director and Daewoo Professor of International Affairs, has published the fourth edition of his seminal textbook, Governance and Politics of China. The revised text seeks to understand better how China is ruled and what the policy priorities are of the new leadership. Can China move to a more market-based economy while controlling environmental degradation? Can it integrate hundreds of millions of new migrants into the urban landscape? The tensions between communist and capitalist identities continue to divide society as China searches for a path to modernization. The People’s Republic is now over 65 years old—an appropriate juncture at which to reassess the state of contemporary Chinese politics. Governance and Politics of China delivers a thorough introduction to all aspects of politics and governance in post-Mao China, taking full account of the changes of the Eighteenth Party Congress and the Twelfth National People’s Congress. The rise of Xi Jinping to power and his policies are examined, as are important policy areas such as urbanization and the fight against corruption.
Political Governance in China Tony Saich, Ed. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015 Including key research articles from specialists in the field, Political Governance in China provides an introduction and critical insights into the most important debates surrounding the governance of contemporary China. The volume, edited by Tony Saich, Ash Center director and Daewoo Professor of International Affairs, will enable readers to understand how China is ruled, how participation and protest are regulated by the authorities, and the relationship between the Central state and its local agencies. Spanning the most important areas of the subject, the chosen articles explore the study of Chinese politics, the nature of the Chinese political system, the policymaking process, the nature of the local state, participation and protest, and authoritarian resilience or democratization. For example, Elizabeth Perry writes on “Chinese Conceptions of “Rights””; Andrew Nathan examines “Authoritarian Resilience”; Barry Naughton asks “China’s Distinctive System: Can It Be a Model for Others?”; and Victor Shih, Christopher Adolph, and Mingxing Liu write “Getting Ahead in the Communist Party: Explaining the Advancement of Central Committee Members in China.”
The Arab Spring: Pathways of Repression and Reform Jason Brownlee, Tarek Masoud, and Andrew Reynolds Oxford University Press, 2015 Several years after the Arab Spring began, democracy remains elusive in the Middle East. The Arab Spring that resides in the popular imagination is one in which a wave of mass mobilization swept the broader Middle East, toppled dictators, and cleared the way for democracy. The reality is that few Arab countries have experienced anything of the sort. While Tunisia made progress towards some type of constitutionally entrenched participatory rule, the other countries that overthrew their rulers—Egypt, Yemen, and Libya—remain mired in authoritarianism and instability. Elsewhere in the Arab world, uprisings were suppressed, subsided, or never materialized. The Arab Spring's modest harvest cries out for explanation. Why did regime change take place in only four Arab countries and why has democratic change proved so elusive in the countries that made attempts? This book attempts to answer those questions. First, by accounting for the full range of variance: from the absence or failure of uprisings in such places as Algeria and Saudi Arabia at one end to Tunisia's rocky but hopeful transition at the other. Second, by examining the deep historical and structure variables that determined the balance of power between incumbents and opposition.
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Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation Harvard Kennedy School 79 John F. Kennedy Street Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation strives to make the world a better place by advancing excellence and innovation in governance and public policy through research, education, and public discussion. By training the very best leaders, developing powerful new ideas, and disseminating innovative solutions and institutional reforms, the Centerâ€™s goal is to meet the profound challenges facing the worldâ€™s citizens.
Harvard Kennedy School