In the face of global challenges and changes - some may even say because of them - one major dilemma looms large for citizens and leaders worldwide: how can we ensure that our countries address these challenges successfully? This book demonstrates that the answer can be found in a better match between the nature of modern bureaucracy and the spirit of modern democracy, as well as by improving methods and ideas for what the author terms 'cleaver governance' and better governability. Moreover, it suggests potential directions for improving governability and public management against the backdrop of the tension between bureaucracy and democracy that has given rise to increasing mistrust of and lack of confidence in public institutions. Building Strong Nations enriches the discussion about moving modern nations forward despite major problems such as the clash of ideologies, the overburdening of and expectations from public administration, and the growing instability in world economics and international relations.
Eran Vigoda-Gadot is Professor of Public Administration and Management, and Head of the School of Political Sciences, University of Haifa, Israel.
'A perception of a global chaos can be easily formed these days given the volume and diversity of our daily news. This book successfully uncovers some hidden pattern that might explain a number of developments that occurred in the recent past (or in the present) due to the evolving global village. In a well written and organized discussion and careful synthesis of the salient writings in the field, Professor Vigoda-Gadot probes the relationships among bureaucracy, democracy, administrative reforms, and innovation. This book would serve the needs of students and instructors in courses dealing with government, public management, international development, and political thinking. The book is also a necessary reading for practitioners, in developed and developing countries, who wish to hone their skills for dealing with the impression of chaos by refining their frame of reference.' Arie Halachmim, Tennessee State University, USA and Center for Public Administration, Sun Yat Sen University, China 'Vigoda-Gadot offers a path breaking analysis that bears directly on the future of governance and the capacity of governments to deliver a high quality of life worldwide. Addressing the enduring tension of bureaucracy vs. democracy, he develops compelling arguments for their interdependence. Attention to managerial quality and to performance management are necessary elements of rebuilding trust in government. Cross-sectoral collaboration facilitates the complex task of running a nation. Vigoda-Gadot addresses missing pieces of effective governance via an evidence-based strategy for building strong nations. Citizens, elected officials and managers - public and private - need to carefully read and consider his insights. This book is our portal to an optimistic, collaborative future.' Marc Holzer, Rutgers University, USA