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Can Government do Anything Right?

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Across the Western world, people are angry about the inability of government to perform basic functions competently. With widespread evidence of policy failures at home and ill-conceived wars and interventions abroad, it is hardly surprising that politicians are distrusted and government is derided as a sprawling, wasteful mess. But what exactly is government supposed to do, and is the track record of Western governments really so awful?

In this compelling book, leading scholar of public policy and management, Alasdair Roberts, explores what government does well and what it does badly. Political leaders, he explains, have always been obliged to wrestle with shifting circumstances and contending priorities, making the job of governing extraordinarily difficult. The performance of western democracies in recent decades is, admittedly, far from perfect but - as Roberts ably shows - it is also much better than you might think.

Author: Roberts Alasdair
Publisher: POLITY PRESS
Pages: 123
ISBN: 9781509521517
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2018

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

1. WHY IS EVERYONE SO ANGRY?

2. THE LONG PEACE

3. THE RIGHT TO RULE

4. TAMING THE ECONOMY

5. BATTLE OF THE BULGE

6. HARD CHOICES AHEAD

7. PERESTROIKA

FURTHER READING

NOTES

Alasdair Roberts is a professor of political science and Director of the School of Public Policy at University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is a Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Public Administration. He received his law degree from the University of Toronto and his PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University. His website is http://www.aroberts.us.

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