Article Critiques: Students are required to complete an article critique on “The Transformation of Governance: Globalization, Devolution, and the Role of Government” by Donald F. Kettl. (3-5 pages each, double-spaced, 12pt font, 1-inch margins), you will critically evaluate the assigned articles determined by me using the following format:
• The author’s name(s) and the title of the article
• The author’s main point
• A thesis statement that previews your analysis
• The main points of the article
• The arguments presented in the article
• The findings of the article
• Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the article that you noted while critically reading
• State your informed opinions about the clarity, relevancy, and accuracy of the article, using
specific examples from the article to support your statements.
• Summarize the key points in the article, as well the key points from your own analysis.
• Close with a comment about the significance of the research or a statement of future
research needed in the field
The Transformation of Governance: Globalization, Devolution, and the Role of Government Author(s): Donald F. Kettl Source: Public Administration Review, Vol. 60, No. 6 (Nov. – Dec., 2000), pp. 488-497 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/977432 . Accessed: 30/03/2011 13:28
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In 1999, Donald F Kettl chaired the Priority Issues Task Force for the National Academ of Public Administration (NAPA). The Task Force was char ed with defining a research agenda for governance in the coming years. This article builds on the discussion of Task Force members: Mark Abramson, Donald Borut, Jonathan Breul, Peter Harkness, Steven Kelman, Valerie Lemmie, Naomi B. Lynn, David Mathews, David Mathiasen, Brian O'Connell, and Susan Schwab. During the 2000 NAPA Fall Meeting (November 16-18, 2000), the Priority Issues Task Force report and, in turn, KettIls article will serve as a basis for conversation concerning the presidential transition. A decision was made to publish the article here so that ASPA members and PAR readers could join this important conversation. – LDT
Donald F. Ketil University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Transformation of Governance:
Globalization, Devolution, and the
Role of Government
Over the last generation, American government has undergone a steady, but often unnoticed, transformation. Its traditional processes and institutions have become more marginal to the fundamental debates. Meanwhile, new processes and institutions-often nongovernmental ones-have become more central to public policy. In doing the peoples' work to a large and growing degree, American governments share responsibility with other levels of government, with private companies, and with nonprofit organizations.
This transformation has had two effects. First, it has strained the traditional roles of all the players. For decades, we have debated privatizing and shrinking government. While the debate raged, however, we incrementally made important policy decisions. Those decisions have rendered much of the debate moot. Government has come to rely heavily on for-profit and nonprofit organizations for de- livering goods and services ranging from anti-missile sys- tems to welfare reform. It is not that these changes have obliterated the roles of Congress, the president, and the courts. State and local governments have become even live- lier. Rather, these changes have layered new challenges on top of the traditional institutions and their processes.
Second, the new challenges have strained the capacity of governments-and their nongovernmental partners- to deliver high-quality public services. The basic structure of American government comes from New Deal days. It is a government driven by functional specialization and pro- cess control. However, new place-based problems have emerged: How can government's functions be coordinated in a single place? Can environmental regulations flowing down separate channels (air, water, and soil) merge to form
a coherent environmental policy? New process-based prob- lems have emerged as well: How can hierarchical bureau- cracies, created with the presumption that they directly deliver services, cope with services increasingly delivered through multiple (often nongovernmental) partners? Bud- getary control processes that work well for traditional bu- reaucracies often prove less effective in gathering infor- mation from nongovernmental partners or in shaping their incentives. Personnel systems designed to insulate gov- ernment from political interference have proven less adap- tive to these new challenges, especially in creating a co- hort of executives skilled in managing indirect government.
Consequently, government at all levels has found itself with new responsibilities but without the capacity to man- age them effectively. The same is true of its nongovern- mental partners. Moreover, despite these transformations, the expectations on government-by citizens and often by
government officials-remain rooted in a past that no longer exists. Citizens expect their problems will be solved and tend not to care who solves them. Elected officials take a similar view: They create programs and appropriate money. They expect government agencies to deliver the goods and services. When problems emerge, their first in- stinct is to reorganize agencies or impose new procedures- when the problem often has to do with organizational struc- tures and processes that no longer fit reality. The performance of American government-its effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness, and accountability-depends on cracking these problems.
Donald F. Ketti is a professor of public affairs and political science at the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. He is grateful to the Priority Issues Task Force members for their stimulating insights. Email [email protected]
488 Public Administration Review * November/December 2000, Vol. 60, No. 6
Consider the case of Wen Ho Lee, arrested in Decem- ber 1999 for mishandling classified nuclear secrets on his computer. Intelligence analysts concluded the Chinese government had captured the secrets of the W-88 warhead, America's most advanced nuclear device. Either intention- ally or by sloppy handling of secret data on his computer, the experts believe the Chinese had obtained the secrets from Lee. For two decades, Lee was an essential researcher at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Los Alamos nuclear laboratory. As an analyst in the secret "X Division," he had access to the top secrets and moved massive amounts of data-806 megabytes-to unsecured computers.
Federal agents could not implicate Lee in leaking the data. In fact, they could not even demonstrate that data had leaked-or whether the Chinese had somehow managed to replicate the design on their own. The investigation itself was sloppy. It prematurely focused on Lee, precluding a close look at other suspects. At the very least, however, the agents concluded Lee had mishandled the data and might well have been the source, inadvertent or deliberate, of a leak of key weapons designs to the Chinese.
Congress responded in typical fashion. In a series of hearings, members of Congress expressed outrage at the problem and resolved to take firm action. They concluded the DOE could not be trusted to plug the leaks on its own. Members asked pointedly, "What can we do to solve this problem?" Their answer: Split off the security issues into a new, quasi-independent National Nuclear Security Ad- ministration. If the DOE could not ensure the security of nuclear secrets, Congress resolved to create a new agency that could.
However, there was little evidence the restructuring would solve the Lee problem-if there was a problem, and if the problem were structural within the DOE. Lee him- self was not a federal employee. He did not even work for a federal contractor. Rather, he was an employee of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a subcontractor to the University of California-Berkeley, which has conducted nuclear research there since World War II. Any disciplin- ary process was not a matter for the DOE but for the Uni- versity of California. More important, to the degree that there was a problem, it lay in the DOE's ability to manage its vast contractor organization-not in the way its head- quarters was organized. Paul Light, for example, has esti- mated that there are 35 contract employees for every DOE worker (Light 1999).
Congress responded to the problem in traditional, re- flexive fashion. It misidentified the problem-govern- ment's management of its nongovernmental partners-and it solved the problem poorly, by reorganizing instead of strengthening the department's leverage over nongovern- mental partners. Suggestions that the solution failed to fit the problem were ignored. Congress did what it was used
to doing. What it was used to doing, however, increasingly failed to match the way the federal government was doing its work.
Government had quietly been transformed, and Con- gress-along with the rest of government-struggled to get a handle on governmental programs. The transforma- tion has followed two courses: globalization and devolu- tion. On the international level, state and even local gov- ernments are working directly with other nations to promote trade or attract foreign investment. Organizations like the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have taken a strong hand in shaping international relations. Ad hoc interna- tional structures have managed the world's response to recent ethnic conflicts, from the Kosovo peacekeeping operation to the intense bombing campaign in Serbia. For- eign (or shared) command of American troops proved a hot domestic issue, but it has become increasingly com- mon in the deployment of military forces. Other policy arenas that used to be domestic, from telecommunications to the environment, now have major international compo- nents. More decisions have flowed from the national to the international level-and at the international level, to both ad hoc and multinational organizations. Permanent organizations like the State Department have struggled to build the capacity to cope with these changes, while ad hoc ones never institutionalize. Maintaining national sov- ereignty while effectively pursuing international policy has become an increasingly difficult problem.
On the national level, more responsibility for both mak- ing and implementing policy has flowed to state and local governments. In environmental policy, the federal Envi- ronmental Protection Agency (EPA) has increasingly shifted into the role of service purchaser (through contracts with private companies to clean up Superfund sites) and service arranger (through partnerships with state govern- ments). The EPA's success-and the success of environ- mental policy-hinges on how well EPA serves as orches- tra conductor. Moreover, in many communities, small-scale quasigovernments are managing everything from educa- tion to arts districts. Some governance mechanisms have become computer based, neighborhood based, or both.
In short, America's preeminent policy strategies have tended to grow beyond the nation-state, to linkages with international organizations, and to focus below it, to part- nerships with subnational, for-profit, and nonprofit orga- nizations. Supranational organizations have grown to new but poorly understood functions. Subnational partnerships have transformed the role of state and local governments. As we have debated privatizing government, they have paradoxically also governmentalized a substantial part of the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. The federal government's institutions, political and administrative, find
The Transformation of Governance 489
themselves with yet more challenges, from orchestrating these partnerships to shaping the national interest. The roles of all of these players have changed dramatically. Manag- ing these roles requires capacity that lies far beyond the standard responses, structures, and processes that have gradually accumulated in American government.
Globalization Debates about "globalization" have ranged from French
complaints about McDonald's "burger imperialism" to agricultural giant Monsanto's decision to withdraw "ter- minator" seeds (which yield large crops without pesticides but cannot be replanted) from the market (Rubin 1999). London School of Economics director Anthony Giddens (1999) notes that globalization "has come from nowhere to be almost everywhere." In the early 1990s, the term was little used. By 2000, no speech was complete without it- even if those who used the term agreed on little more than the fact "that we now all live in one world." "Globaliza- tion" is poorly defined. Most often, the term is synony- mous with the galloping expansion of the global market- place. However, globalization is much more. It includes political, technological, and cultural forces. It is more than a description-it is an ideology that defines basic expecta- tions about the roles and behaviors of individuals and in- stitutions. Giddens suggests, in fact, that globalization is about "action at a distance": the increasing interpenetra- tion of individual lives and global futures.
The ideology of globalization sprang quickly from dis- parate roots (Held, McGrew, Goldblatt, and Perraton 1999). The end of the Cold War left the United States as the world's remaining superpower. By uprooting generations of ideolo- gies and power relationships, it also scrambled relationships among all the world's nations. The major conflicts since the end of the Cold War have been not international but subnational and ethnic. These conflicts have posed tough dilemmas: How much do internal conflicts threaten interna- tional stability? How can the world's nations respond to such conflicts? The United States-and other nations-have deli- cately picked their way through these battles, and, when they have responded, they have forged multinational alliances. In the bombing campaign against Serbia, nearly 30 nations negotiated which targets to bomb and when to bomb them. American pilots found themselves under the de facto com- mand of a loose, ad hoc coalition. The coalition shored up international support but made it far harder to fight the war. Multinational peacekeeping operations have struggled to reduce conflict in places as different as Somalia and Bosnia. In each case, the essential strategy was surrender of national autonomy in exchange for (more or less) international unity. Nations acted awkwardly together because no nation could- or desired-to act alone.
Behind the notable military actions, however, lies the rampant globalization of world markets. Manufacturers debate "global sourcing," where manufacturing and mar- keting know no national boundaries. Indeed, Nike manu- factures and markets its shoes around the world. The com- pany has reduced its market presence to a single, universally known symbol. Hungry travelers can enjoy Burger King in Australia or Pepsi in Moscow. The French resent the spread of Disney and McDonald's, but visit anyway. Street- corner caf6s in Berlin feature "genuine American pizza" from Pizza Hut. Global trade, of course, does not flow one way. Corporate mergers have sometimes become mania, especially in the consolidation of communications indus- tries across national borders. Scandinavian companies manufacture two of the fastest-selling cellular phones in the United States, Nokia (Finland) and Ericsson (Sweden). No American television factories exist any longer, and clas- sic American clothing from the Lands' End catalog might come from North Carolina, Scotland, or Thailand. Some analysts have gone so far as to suggest that globalization "is increasingly forcing us to live in an economy rather than a society"-with shrinking national political power and "with government's role in economic affairs now deemed obsolete" (Smadja 2000).
While that might be going a bit too far, it is impossible to ignore the fact that it is at least a debatable proposi- tion. With online trading, futures and options trading, and the world's rotating time zones, the stock market never closes, and no nation can insulate its finances from the world economy. Capital markets are global and hiccups in one region can quickly spill over to everyone else, as the "Asian flu" in 1997 and 1998 painfully proved. The Clinton administration's much-vaunted campaign to wipe out the national debt has had surprising spillovers, in fact. The U.S. Treasury's 30-year bond has long been the world's interest rate benchmark. If the national debt de- clines sharply-or even disappears-so too will the bed- rock of investor security. While is it surely better to de- velop a new touchstone than to lean too heavily on an old one, the worldwide implications of the Treasury's deci- sion show how tightly linked the world's economic fi- nances have become.
The markets have become more important than national governments in setting the economic rules. Nations can choose to go their own way, but the markets exact retribu- tion for policies that run afoul of the global marketplace. No country is exempt. It was a U.S. policy decision to res- cue the Mexican peso in 1995, for example. But once the United States made the decision, it lost control over how to do so. The bond markets, not national governments, set the terms for the rescue (Mathews 1997). Corporations are outgrowing the world's governments, some observers sug- gest (Gelbspan 1998).
490 Public Administration Review * November/December 2000, Vol. 60, No. 6
At the core of the globalization movement, however, are lightning-fast communication systems-especially the Internet-that have developed over the last decade. The communications revolution has made it possible to spread information around the world easily and cheaply. Not only has it fueled the 24-hour financial markets, it has, just as importantly, transformed governance. For the price of a local telephone call to connect to the Internet, organiza- tions around the world can instantly exchange informa- tion. Jessica Mathews argues in Foreign Affairs (1997),
Widely accessible and affordable technology has broken governments' monopoly on the collection and management of large amounts of information and deprived governments of the deference they enjoyed because of it. In every sphere of activity, instanta- neous access to information and the ability to put it to use multiplies the number of players who matter and reduces the number who command great author- ity. The effect on the loudest voice-which has been government's-has been greatest.
The result-so far, at least-has been rampant fragmen- tation of norms, ideologies, values, and institutions. "We are at the beginning of a fundamental shake-out of world society," Giddens bluntly suggests, "and we really do not know where it is going to lead us" (quoted in UNRISD 1996).
Instantaneous communication has already fueled an important transformation. Nongovernmental organiza- tions-NGOs, for short-have quickly acquired great in- fluence, in the United States and around the world. (In the United States, they are better known as nonprofit organi- zations, for their tax status.) When nations debated trade liberalization in the 1986 Uruguay round of talks, 12 NGOs registered to follow the proceedings. Seattle's 1999 World Trade Organization meeting drew so many NGO repre- sentatives that they crammed the city's symphony hall to plot strategy. About 1,500 NGOs signed an anti-WTO pro- test declaration created online by Public Citizen. The Internet allowed organizers to share ideas and tactics in- stantly. They overwhelmed the Seattle police, who found themselves using 1970s-era crowd-control strategies to try to tame twenty-first-century organizers (Economist 1999; Mallaby 1999).
How many NGOs exist is unknown. These organiza- tions are powerful engines for organizing and driving policy change, and their influence has been impressive. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, they raised public pressure for governments to commit to reducing greenhouse gases. In 1994, they dominated the World Bank's fiftieth-anniversary meeting and forced the Bank to rethink its goals and techniques. In 1998, a coalition of environmentalists and consumer rights activists pressed
for the end of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, a draft treaty under the auspices of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to improve foreign-investment rules. In the late 1990s, Princess Diana's much-publicized campaign to outlaw land mines was part of a broader movement that, in just a year, led to substantial success. The Jubilee 2000 campaign helped shape a new policy of reducing the debts of the world's poorest countries. The number of international NGOs behind these and other movements grew from 6,000 in 1990 to more than 26,000 at the end of the decade. The total number of NGOs around the world, from neighbor- hood-based groups to large international organizations, surely numbers in the millions (Mathews 1997). More- over, these NGOs have been important not only in politi- cal organizing; in many countries, including the United States (as we shall shortly see), they have become im- portant in delivering public services as well.
Add to this the widely recognized and growing power of formal, quasigovernmental, international organizations like the World Bank, the IMF, the WTO, and the European Union. The IMF played a powerful (and much-criticized) role in steering Asian nations through their brutal but short- lived flu. In Seattle, the WTO stumbled into a vicious po- litical crossfire as it attempted to transform international trade. The United Nations has had intermittent success in launching peacekeeping missions. The European Union has become a major force in reshaping everything from envi- ronmental policy to drug manufacturing in Europe. Its policies are spilling through America's back door via in- ternational companies that do business in both places.
Amid this galloping globalization, the United States has found itself squarely in the middle of an international para- dox: It has become the world's only superpower but has found itself unable, for political and pragmatic reasons, to act alone. It has struggled to craft a policy to accommo- date these new realities-and to organize its governmen- tal apparatus to cope with them.
In struggling with this paradox, American government faces two tough challenges. First, what is the federal government's role at a time when international organiza- tions-formal organizations like the WTO and the United Nations; informal organizations like the NGOs and multi- national corporations-have become far stronger? Policy makers have found their discretion over what to do and, more important, how to do it diminished by the rising power of supranational organizations. National sovereignty, even for the world's remaining superpower, has eroded. At least in relative terms, the federal government has become more marginalized in the international debate.
Second, what capacity does the federal government need to play this emerging role? Following a 42-year career in the State Department, outgoing Assistant Secretary of State
The Transformation of Governance 491
Phyllis Oakley worried in 1999 that America's ability to conduct foreign policy in the globalized age had become "threadbare." The State Department itself lacked people skilled in dealing with these issues. Its budget stagnated while the CIA and Pentagon budgets grew. Special envoys took important jobs that previously would have gone to senior career foreign-service officers. "The only thing we have left is the military," she complained, "so we use it in Iraq and Kosovo." Consequently, the nation tends toward "using military means for diplomatic purposes" (Perlez 1999).
Oakley's comments could be dismissed as the parochial complaints of a long-term State Department official who had lost too many budget wars. Her worries about the nation's capacity to cope with new issues, however, strike at the heart of the globalization movement. Globalization is not the province of any cabinet department. Indeed, on top of the usual suspects in the State, Defense, and Trea- sury departments, no cabinet department is untouched by globalization. Its implications strike at issues ranging from the Department of Health and Human Service's health care programs to the EPA's clean air standards, from the Labor Department's job security programs to the Commerce Department's efforts to help American businesses compete. Ad hoc White House and interagency teams have sprung up to deal with crises, but they have failed to build long- term capacity to anticipate and cope with tough problems. Congress, for its part, has scarcely proven equal to the task of framing policies to cope with this trend.
Globalization has helped to homogenize cultures. The phenomenon is far broader than the spread of American fast food and movies. The Internet has helped to cement English as the global language and has fueled rapid com- munication. Governments, including American govern- ment, cannot hope to manage this trend. At best, they can learn to cope and take advantage of the synergies it offers. They can also devise policies to ensure that the rampant spread of electronic communications does not create an underclass without the knowledge of or access to the com- munication system.
In many ways, however, globalization has sparked an emerging system of governance without government, man- agement, or control. Shared values, which shaped govern- mental policies in the past, have yet to emerge. National sovereignty has shrunk along with government's capacity to understand and shape the emerging issues and the con- flicts that underlie them. European concerns about Ameri- can "Frankenstein foods"-produced with genetically modified organisms like disease-resistant corn-have shaped a new generation of public-policy problems (Rubin 1999). So, too, have the rise of ethnic conflicts, interna- tional currency flows, and multinational business merg- ers. The puzzle is building the administrative capacity, in sustained rather than ad hoc fashion, for tackling these prob-
lems. It is also strengthening the ability of our political institutions, especially Congress, to frame the policies the nation will need to negotiate the problems and potential of globalization.
Devolution At the same time that globalization has international-
ized much of American policy, devolution has localized other arenas. As much of the work in public administra- tion over the last two decades has shown, the federal government's work is carried out through an elaborate net- work of contracting, intergovernmental grants, loans and loan guarantees, regulations, and other indirect adminis- trative approaches (Mosher 1980; Salamon 1981, 1989; Kettl 1988). My doctor's office, for example, has a sign reading, "Patients receiving medical assistance must show their card before receiving service." My pharmacist fills prescriptions for private-pay, group subscriber, HMO, and medical-assistance patients.
The federal government manages most of its domestic programs through such indirect partnerships. It mails en- titlement checks directly, steers air traffic control, and runs the national parks. From Medicare to Medicaid, and envi- ronmental to transportation policy, the federal government shares responsibility with state and local governments and with for-profit and nonprofit organizations (Kettl 1993). Indirect tools have gradually and subtly risen in promi- nence. In part, this represents a conscious strategy to avoid increasing the size of the federal government while ex- panding its programs. In part, it represents an unconscious strategy to wire civil society ever more directly into public programs. As Paul C. Light shows (1999), the federal government's "shadow" employees, in the state and local governments as well as in the for-profit and nonprofit sec- tors, outnumber federal workers by nine to one.
Welfare reform is a case in point. The federal govern- ment "ended welfare as we know it" by passing the job to the states. The states, in turn, have typically devolved the task to their counties, and the counties in turn have con- tracted for-profit and nonprofit organizations to deliver welfare reform and, in some cases, to serve as …
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