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Thomas O. Hueglin

Hueglin argues that federalism studies have remained undertheorized and that political theory has taken little notice of federalism as a normative proposition. He identifies four federalism-related concepts for further theoretical reflection: First, the idea of federalism offers a plural understanding of territorial identity that may contribute to a more complex understanding of self-determination; second, federalism comprises an ideational understanding of particular autonomy bounded in the universality of a common enterprise and protected by considerations of subsidiarity; third, a core principle of federalism, membership equality, invites reflection not only on the political legitimacy of majority rule, but also on the tension between the symmetry of equality and the asymmetry of diversity; fourth, the commitment to social solidarity embedded in the agreement to establish a federal union raises critical questions about the liberal separation of state and market. The chapter ends with the suggestion that democracy might learn from federalism.

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Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve

This chapter is situated at the nexus of two literatures: theoretical ideas from political science on the relationship between politics and markets, and the more recent public policy phenomenon of public–private partnerships (PPPs). It aims first to map some of the primary theoretical underpinnings describing the enduring relationship between governments and businesses. It then focuses on the adoption of PPPs as a popular infrastructure policy, and asks to what extent a particular political-market logic for the adoption of PPP policies appears to exist in leading jurisdictions such as the UK, Australia and Canada. It suggests that the empirical evidence on the undue influence of business over political decision making is not one sided and that the arena is still hotly contested. It also suggests that the policy logic of PPPs may be dependent on the relative maturity of governance systems, the relative maturity of PPP markets, and the political and public management environments in question. A taxonomy based on Kingdon’s conceptualization of the policy window is presented. The chapter also comments on the development of the PPP phenomenon over the last three decades and highlights particular characteristics influencing the policy path.

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David Kaufmann

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Lasse Gerrits and Stefan Verweij

We argue that infrastructure projects are complex and that evaluations of such projects need to do justice to that complexity. The three principal aspects discussed here are heterogeneity, uniqueness, and context. Evaluations that are serious about incorporating the complexity of projects need to address these aspects. Often, evaluations rely on single case studies. Such studies are useful because they allow researchers to focus on the heterogeneous, unique, and contextual nature of projects. However, their relevance for explaining other (future) projects is limited. Larger-n studies allow for the comparison of cases, but they come with the important downside that their relevance for explaining single projects is limited because they cannot incorporate heterogeneity, uniqueness, and context sufficiently. The method Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) presents a promising solution to this conundrum. This book offers a guide to using QCA when evaluating infrastructure projects.

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Lasse Gerrits and Stefan Verweij

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Katharine McGowan, Frances Westley and Ola Tjörnbo

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Ana Rosa Ribeiro de Mendonça and Simone Deos

The authors emphasize an overlooked raison d’être for public banks. They argue that limiting public banks to filling the gaps left by private banks, the standard argument in economics, neglects a very important dimension of public banks, that is, their capacity to act countercyclically and thereby stabilize access to credit during economic downturns. Taking a cue from Hyman Minsky, they point to the immanent volatility of financial markets dominated by private actors. In order to counter destabilizing tendencies, the presence of institutions with the logic of action that differs from that of the market is necessary. As public banks are not primarily concerned with profitability, they can play this role. To a certain extent, their presence in the market is an automatic stabilizer because public banks provide credit with long maturation. In times of crisis, they can also be used for discretionary intervention, that is, opening up new credit lines.

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Christoph Scherrer

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An uphill struggle

A Fitness Landscape Model Approach

Lasse Gerrits and Peter Marks