In 1993, Prime Minister Kim Campbell (right) launched a reorganization exercise that was promoted as “the most significant downsizing and restructuring of government ever undertaken in Canada.” A federal agency, the Canadian Centre for Management Development, contracted with ten academics to conduct a study of the restructuring. (I wrote the report that examined the merger of two departments, Public Works and Supply and Services.) The overall study was completed, prepared for publication — and then shelved. Nine of the studies have now been posted online by the University of Victoria. (The tenth study is still unavailable: “There was difficulty in securing the necessary approvals for its release under the current publication guidelines of the Government of Canada.”) Several of the authors will meet to discuss the project in Ottawa on March 12. The author of the lead chapter, Peter Aucoin of Dalhousie University, passed away in 2011. The Canadian Centre for Management Development is now the Canadian School for Public Service.
The journal The Historian has just published a review of America’s First Great Depression. “Roberts’s book is more than an economic analysis of the 1830s and 1840s,” writes Dave Bush of Shasta College. “He persuasively argues that it was a great depression not solely for economic reasons but because of resulting social and political changes. . . . Roberts does a particularly fine job of placing this period of US history within a global perspective.” Read the review.
I’ll be giving two talks for the Australia and New Zealand School of Government in May. The title is Keeping government secrets in the information age. The first talk is in Wellington, New Zealand on May 16: details here. And the second talk is in Melbourne, Australia on May 21: details here.
The Economic Sociology and Political Economy blog discusses my book The End of Protest: “Roberts convincingly argues that in the last three decades, the two countries that led the free-market revolution—the US and Britain—have invented new strategies for dealing with unrest over free market policies.” Read more.
America’s First Great Depression is reviewed in the latest issue of Pennsylvania History. Andrew Shankman of Rutgers University writes: “[A] highly successful and comprehensible book that puts the early takeoff years of American capitalism in their proper international context. It is a noteworthy achievement.” Read the review.