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Good Government

The Relevance of Political Science Edited by Sören Holmberg and Bo Rothstein, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
In all societies, the quality of government institutions is of the utmost importance for the well-being of its citizens. Problems like high infant mortality, lack of access to safe water, unhappiness and poverty are not primarily caused by a lack of technical equipment, effective medicines or other types of knowledge generated by the natural or engineering sciences. Instead, the critical problem is that the majority of the world’s population live in societies that have dysfunctional government institutions. Central issues discussed in the book include: how can good government be conceptualized and measured, what are the effects of ‘bad government’ and how can the quality of government be improved?
Extent: 368 pp
Hardback Price: $155.00 Web: $139.50
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 978 0 85793 492 5
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $55.00 Web: $44.00
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 978 1 78195 412 6
Availability: In Stock
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In all societies, the quality of government institutions is of the utmost importance for the well-being of its citizens. Problems like high infant mortality, lack of access to safe water, unhappiness and poverty are not primarily caused by a lack of technical equipment, effective medicines or other types of knowledge generated by the natural or engineering sciences. Instead, the critical problem is that the majority of the world’s population live in societies that have dysfunctional government institutions. Central issues discussed in the book include: how can good government be conceptualized and measured, what are the effects of ‘bad government’ and how can the quality of government be improved?

Good Government will prove invaluable for students in political science, public policy and public administration. Researchers in political science and the social sciences, as well as policy analysts working in government, international and independent policy organizations will also find plenty to interest them in this resourceful compendium.
‘A seminal work of outstanding scholarship and an invaluable, seminal contribution that is especially appropriate for academic library Political Science.’
– Midwest Book Review

‘Everyone wants good government, but how do we know when we have it? The path-breaking Quality of Government Institute cuts through the tiresome ideological debate with theoretically grounded empirical analyses of the components, measures, and outcomes of good government. The book’s contributors demonstrate the relevance of political science, and they do so with arguments and evidence that should improve policy and, ultimately, people’s lives.’
– Margaret Levi, University of Washington, US

‘All too often today research in political science is irrelevant and uninspiring, shying away from the “big” questions that actually matter in people’s lives. Good Government shows that this does not have to be the case. Tackling some of the “biggest” questions of the contemporary era – What is good government? Where does it come from? How can it be measured and how does it matter? – this book will prove invaluable to academics and policy makers alike.’
– Sheri Berman, Barnard College, US

‘What is “Good Government?” Few doubt that it is better to have a “good government” than a “bad” one, but few of us have thought carefully about what makes for good government vs. bad. Sören Holmberg and Bo Rothstein’s excellent volume helps fill in this gap. Though the book is more than this, the focus on corruption is particularly fascinating. We know that corruption is “bad” but where does it come from? Why are some legislatures more corrupt than others? Why does the media sometimes collude? Why are women less easily corrupted than men? These are just a few of the many fascinating questions this volume explores. By bridging democratic theory, public policy and institutional analysis, it is one of the first to give us some practical insight into the obviously important question: what makes some governments “better” than others?’
– Sven Steinmo, European University Institute, Italy
Contributors: E. Andersson, M. Bauhr, N. Charron, C. Dahlström, M.A. Färdigh, S. Holmberg, V. Lapuente, S.I. Lindberg, N. Nasiritousi, H. Oscarsson, A. Persson, B. Rothstein, M. Samanni, M. Sjöstedt, H.O. Stensöta, J. Teorell, L. Wängnerud
Contents:

Preface

1. Introduction: Political Science and the Importance of Good Government
Sören Holmberg and Bo Rothstein

PART I: WHAT IT IS
2. Defining and Measuring Quality of Government
Bo Rothstein and Jan Teorell

3. Public Administration Around the World
Carl Dahlström, Victor Lapuente and Jan Teorell

4. Need or Greed Corruption?
Monika Bauhr

5. Impartiality and the Need for a Public Ethics of Care
Helena Olofsdotter Stensöta

PART II: HOW TO GET IT
6. In Democracy We Trust, But How Much?
Nicholas Charron and Victor Lapuente

7. Press Freedom and Corruption
Mathias A. Färdigh, Emma Andersson and Henrik Oscarsson

8. Weberian Bureaucracy and Corruption Prevention
Carl Dahlström and Victor Lapuente

9. Do International Organizations Promote Quality of Government?
Monika Bauhr and Naghmeh Nasiritousi

10. State Legitimacy and the Corruptibility of Leaders
Anna Persson and Martin Sjöstedt

11. Legislators and Variation in Quality of Government
Staffan I. Lindberg

12. Why Women are Less Corrupt than Men
Lena Wängnerud

13. Rethinking the Nature of the Grabbing Hand
Anna Persson, Bo Rothstein and Jan Teorell

PART III: WHAT YOU GET
14. Part of the Solution
Sören Holmberg, Bo Rothstein and Jan Teorell

15. Access to Safe Water
Sören Holmberg and Bo Rothstein

16. Happiness
Marcus Samanni and Sören Holmberg

Index