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Paul C. Light examines and evaluates the 100 most significant investigations of policy failures, bureaucratic mistakes, and personal misconduct undertaken by the U.S. federal government between 1945 and 2012. Launched by Congress or the president, sometimes by both at the same time, the investigations at the core of this book were driven by the search for answers about significant breakdowns in government performance. Light reveals which investigations were most effective, and why.stigations provides a deep history and analysis of these investigations, providing rare insight into why some great investigations succeeded, while others failed, and what investigators can do to increase the odds that their work will pay off in improved government performance and more effective public policy.Informed by a deep reading of investigatory histories, numerous interviews with legislators, commission members, and leading scholars, as well as his own experience and original research, Light undertakes his own search for answers to a long list of questions about how each of these investigations performed. Was the investigation visible and well led? Was it serious and thorough? Did it involve a particularly controversial issue or a powerful public figure? Were investigators given enough freedom to pursue their goals? Did they forge the bipartisanship so often associated with what he calls the "good investigation?" And most important, what are the most important drivers of ultimate impact? Light's analysis will inform practitioners and observers of government on what drives impact in the American system.
The new AP edition of Government by the People integrates the latest in scholarship on American politics and government, the 2010 midterm elections, recent Supreme Court appointments and decisions, and comparisons with countries around the world into a book that introduces you to the subject and the discipline of political science.
In 2003, the National Commission on the Public Service, chaired by Paul Volcker, issued a report detailing problems within the federal government today and recommending changes in its organization, leadership, and operations. This book suggests practical ways to implement the recommendations and defines a research agenda for the future. Thirteen essays address the primary problem areas identified by the Volcker Commission, and the commission report itself is included.
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