Why Government Fails So Often: And How It Can Do Better

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9780691168531: Why Government Fails So Often: And How It Can Do Better
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From healthcare to workplace and campus conduct, the federal government is taking on ever more responsibility for managing our lives. At the same time, Americans have never been more disaffected with Washington, seeing it as an intrusive, incompetent, wasteful giant. Ineffective policies are caused by deep structural factors regardless of which party is in charge, bringing our government into ever-worsening disrepute. Understanding why government fails so often―and how it might become more effective―is a vital responsibility of citizenship.

In this book, lawyer and political scientist Peter Schuck provides a wide range of examples and an enormous body of evidence to explain why so many domestic policies go awry―and how to right the foundering ship of state. An urgent call for reform, Why Government Fails So Often is essential reading for anyone curious about why government is in such a disgraceful state and how it can do better.

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"For Peter Schuck, 'government failure' is neither a political creed nor a reactionary slogan. It is an empirical fact that demands explanation and response. His book shows that, at the federal level, policy failure is pervasive, nonpartisan, and firmly rooted in our political culture and inherent features of government organization. Schuck has some excellent suggestions for improvement, but his great contribution is in his analysis. Why Government Fails So Often defines the central problem of modern politics and illuminates it with a range and sophistication it has never received before."--Christopher DeMuth, Hudson Institute

"The botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act website reminded Americans of how badly the machinery of government can malfunction, even when the stakes are highest. Schuck leaves no stone unturned in this sophisticated and compelling account of why so often, in the realm of domestic policies, the government falters. This is the most systematic and comprehensive treatment of the subject I have ever read."--Pietro S. Nivola, Brookings Institution

"This masterful book offers a 'militantly moderate' argument about why federal domestic policies fail and what incremental steps might reduce, reverse, or prevent the worst failures. This book is a winner."--John J. DiIulio, University of Pennsylvania

"This is an extraordinarily interesting book that has the potential to be unusually influential. It avoids the pitfalls of ideological rigidity, covers an amazing array of government programs, relies on extensive empirical evidence, and provides rich analysis. The book's range and detail allow it to look at problems that are endemic to government policymaking."--R. Shep Melnick, Boston College

About the Author:

Peter H. Schuck is the Simeon E. Baldwin Professor of Law Emeritus at Yale University. He is the author or editor of many books, including Agent Orange on Trial, Meditations of a Militant Moderate, Diversity in America, and Understanding America.

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9780691161624: Why Government Fails So Often: And How It Can Do Better

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Publisher: Princeton University Press, 2014
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