Stephen Goldsmith's "Unlocking the Power of Networks: Keys to High-Performance Government"

Unlocking the Power of Networks: Keys to High-Performance Government

Stephen Goldsmith, Daniel Paul Professor of Government, Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation

Donald F. Kettl


The era of textbook top-down, stovepiped public management in America is over, and the traditional dichotomy between public ownership and privatization is an outdated notion. Public executives have shifted their focus from managing workers and directly providing services to orchestrating networks of public, private, and nonprofit organizations to deliver those services. In this new book, Stephen Goldsmith and Donald Kettl head a stellar cast of policy practitioners and scholars exploring the potential, strategies, and best practices of high-performance networks while identifying next-generation issues in public sector network management.

Unlocking the Power of Networks employs sector-specific analyses to reveal how networked governance achieves previously unthinkable policy goals. The environmental arena in particular has proved to be fertile ground for the networked governance movement. William Eggers, Goldsmith’s coauthor of the landmark Governing by Network, examines the Department of the Interior’s initiative organizing networks of state and local officials, landowners, businesses, and citizens to protect natural resources. Barry Rabe, a pioneer in the study of subnational climate policy, looks at the role of networks in California’s aggressive policy on greenhouse emissions. Former GAO official Paul Posner illustrates how a network mustered the resources, authority, expertise, and political support necessary to clean up Chesapeake Bay.

American officials are not the only ones employing networked governance. In a disquieting chapter, Brinton Milward and Joerg Raab reveal how Islamic terror organizations have adapted and transformed themselves since 9/11. In a more hopeful vein, Edward DeSeve considers how network management could be used in the fight against terrorism, utilizing new organizational structures, increased staffing, upgraded technology, and new cross-agency mechanisms.

Contributors include William Berberich (Virginia Tech University), G. Edward DeSeve (University of Pennsylvania), William Eggers (Deloitte’s Public Leadership Institute), Anne Khademian (Virginia Tech), Brinton Milward (University of Arizona), Mark Moore (Harvard University), Paul Posner (George Mason University), Joerg Raab (Tilburg University), and Barry Rabe (University of Michigan).

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