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Posts from the ‘Books’ Category

“Strategies for Governing” discussed in The Print

In The Print, Sanjeev Chopra draws on my book Strategies for Governing to discuss geopolitics in South Asia. Read the article.

Description for new book, “Superstates”

Here’s the description for Superstates: Empires of the Twenty-First Century, forthcoming from Polity in late 2022. Read catalogue information here.

Superstates: Empires of the Twenty-First Century

In this century, the world will conduct an extraordinary experiment in government. In 2050, forty percent of the planet’s population will live in just four places: India, China, the European Union, and the United States. These are superstates — polities that are distinguished from normal countries by expansiveness, population, diversity, and complexity.

How should superstates be governed? What must their leaders do to hold these immense polities together in the face of extraordinary strains and shocks? Alasdair Roberts looks to history for answers. Superstates, he contends, wrestle with the same problems of leadership, control and purpose that plagued empires for centuries. But they also bear heavier burdens than empires — including the obligation to improve life for ordinary people and respect human rights.

One axiom of history was that empires always died. Size and complexity led to fragility, and imperial rulers improvised constantly to put off the day of reckoning. Leaders of superstates are doing the same today, pursuing radically different strategies for governing at scale that have profound implications for democracy and human rights. History shows that there are ways to govern these sprawling and diverse polities well. But this requires a different way of thinking about the art and methods of statecraft.

Strategies for Governing receives ASPA SPAR book award

Strategies for Governing: Reinventing Public Administration for a Dangerous Century has received the 2021 book award from the Section on Public Administration Research of the American Society for Public Administration.  The Committee’s statement: “This book challenges researchers and practitioners in the field to contemplate how we can ‘recover the fundamentals of government,’ and addresses the urgent and fundamental issues we are facing today. The book takes a thoughtful interdisciplinary approach, drawing on public administration history and theory, administrative process development in political science, fragile states research in international relations, and institutional design, presenting an expansive view of the capacities and new directions for public administration as a field of research, teaching, and practice. The nomination letter by ASPA Past President Chester Newland notes this distinctive quality of the book and emphasizes that in light of the ‘currently urgent realities of the field, the analysis is certain to be a lasting contribution.'”  More comments and reviews on the book here.

Summary of “strategies for governing” in Canadian Public Administration

I’ve just published a short comment in Canadian Public Administration that summarizes the argument in my book Strategies for GoverningOpen access here.

Review of “Strategies for Governing” in Perspectives on Politics

In Perspectives on Politics, Jennifer Selin reviews Strategies for Governing: “Overall, Strategies for Governing has broad implications for research, teaching, and practice in a variety of disciplines and subfields. The books insights provide readers with fresh perspectives on important research questions in public administration, public policy, American politics, international relations, and comparative politics. Perhaps most notably, Roberts encourages us to return to first principles and to address the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of government.”  Review here.

Column discusses “Strategies for Governing”

In the newspaper Dagbladet Information, Professor Carsten Greve of Copenhagen Business School discusses my book Strategies for Governing.  Link to column.

Discussion of “Can Government Do Anything Right?”

I discussed my book Can Government Do Anything Right? as part of the orientation for the University of Georgia MPA program on August 13-14.  Video here.

Interview with Colin Talbot on Strategies for Governing

I spoke with Professor Colin Talbot about my book, Strategies for GoverningWatch the conversation.

Translation of “America’s First Great Depression”

A Chinese translation of America’s First Great Depression: Economic Crisis and Political Disorder after the Panic of 1837 from Cornell University Press is now available from SDX Publishing.  On Amazon.

“Strategies for Governing” now available

Strategies for Governing: Reinventing Public Administration for a Dangerous Century was published by Cornell University Press on December 15.  Order on Amazon. There is a 30% discount for orders through the Press: details here.  Comments on the book here.  Excerpt here.