Comments on Can Government Do Anything Right?, forthcoming from Polity Books in January 2018:
“This contrarian work is a welcome corrective to the doom and gloom commentary that is so common today. Not only that, it’s a good read as well. It will get an intensive workout in college seminars.” — Morris P. Fiorina, Stanford University
“Governing, particularly in democracies, is difficult and often frustrating work. In this vital new book, Alasdair Roberts explains why by identifying the multiple constraints imposed on political leaders. More importantly, he makes a convincing case that, over time, Western governments have successfully adapted to these constraints and have been largely effective at addressing the challenges they face. At a time when so many citizens are disenchanted with their governments, the argument in this book deserves a wide audience.” — Stephen K. Medvic, Franklin & Marshall College
“In a world dominated by narratives of democratic crisis and decline Alasdair Roberts reveals the innate complexities of modern governance and political statecraft. In a book that is as clear and accessible as it is intellectually thoughtful and provocative, Roberts offers a positive and optimistic account of contemporary politics. It offers an energising breadth of fresh air in what is otherwise a fairly gloomy scholarly space.” — Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield, President of the Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom.
The faculty and staff of the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy welcomed new and returning students back to campus today!
The draft preface for my book Statecrafting: A New Approach to Public Administration can be read here. The book is under contract with Cornell University Press.
I’m quoted in a July 15 article in the Boston Globe about the condition of states in the Middle East. Read the article. Author Thanassis Cambansis also draws on my 2015 article in The Wilson Quarterly on the persistence of the nation-state.
On London School of Economics’ Politics & Policy blog, Matthew Flinders reviews Four Crises of American Democracy. Flinders writes: “This is a brilliant book and a much-needed antidote to ‘the politics of pessimism’ that swirls around so much scholarly writing and media messaging.” Read the review.
My column “Let’s end the first hundred days” has been posted on the Oxford University Press blog. Read the column.
Public Integrity has published a review of Four Crises of American Democracy by Peter Federman of the University of Kansas. Read the review. “To merely say this book is prescient would be doing a disservice to the text; its relevance and accuracy in describing our national climate is almost unnerving,” Federman writes. “This is a book for citizens who care about democracy and find beauty and excitement in the fragility of this ‘great experiment.'”
My paper “The aims of public administration: Reviving the classical view” has been accepted for publication in Perspectives on Public Management and Governance. The working version of the paper is available here. More about PPMG here.
Links to some of my work focusing on the need to develop a new approach to American public administration:
The aims of public administration: Reviving the classical view. Forthcoming in Perspectives on Public Management and Governance, 2018.
Lecture. Statecrafting: A new approach to public administration. Presentation to the BK21 Conference organized by the Graduate School of Public Administration of Seoul National University in New York City on Saturday, January 14, 2017.
Why realism is central to public administration. Medium.com, December 26, 2016.
For public administration, fragility is the new reality. Medium.com, October 7, 2016.
Lecture. One world: Building a single body of knowledge for statecraft. Keynote address to 3rd International Conference on Democratic Governance in the Developing World, Washington DC, July 19, 2016.
Public management: A flawed kind of statecraft, in Milward et al. “Is Public Management Neglecting the State?” Governance 29, no. 3 (2016): 1-26.
Large Forces: What’s Missing in Public Administration. CreateSpace: October 2013.
What’s wrong with the intellectual history of Public Administration, Public Voices, 11.2 (2010), pp. 10-14.
The path not taken: Leonard White and the macrodynamics of administrative development. Public Administration Review, 69.4 (July/August 2009): 764-775.
I’m honored to be selected as the inaugural Director of the School of Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The announcement is here. I’m also grateful to have had the opportunity to work with my colleagues at the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri since 2015.