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Why Government Fails So Often:
And How It Can Do Better
Peter H. Schuck

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"[Why Government Fails So Often] is a timely book in light of the steep declines in the public's regards for government, a Congress that is increasingly hostile to federal programs, and a civil service whose morale keeps sinking lower with every survey. Schuck's analysis helps explain why the government is so reviled and thus helps us think about remedial steps and the kinds of policies that should be avoided in the future."--Timothy B. Clark, Government Executive

"Very highly recommended for academic and community library Political Science collections, Why Government Fails So Often: And How It Can Do Better is an impressive work of meticulous scholarship that is so well written and presented that it is equally accessible for political science students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in understanding the mechanics, development, and implementation issues concerning governmental policies on the federal level."--Jack Mason, Midwest Book Review

"[S]ubstantive, and important. . . . [R]ealizing exactly where we are is the first step towards moving to a better state of affairs. This volume sets us squarely down that path."--Matt E. Ryan, Public Choice

"Schuck's important book reminds us about the allure of expert judgments and the need for public discourse at each step along the traverse of policy formulation and implementation."--David M. Levy and Sandra J. Peart, Journal of Economic Literature


"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

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File created: 9/19/2017

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