The Political Economy of Local Regulation: Theoretical Frameworks and International Case Studies

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This book offers theoretical and methodological guidelines for researching the complex regulation of local infrastructure, utilities and public services in the context of rapid urbanisation, technological change, and climate change. It examines the interactions between regulators, public officers, infrastructure and utilities firms, public service providers, citizens, and civil society organisations. It contains contributions from academics and practitioners from various disciplinary perspectives and from many regions of the world, illustrated with case studies from several sectors including water, natural gas and electricity distribution, local public transport, district heating, urban waste, and environmental services.
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About the author

Alberto Asquer is Lecturer in Public Policy and Management at SOAS University of London, UK, where he acts as programme director of the MSc Public Policy and Management and the MSc Public Financial Management and as Director of the Centre for Water and Development. He holds an MSc and a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. Franco Becchis is Scientific Director of the Turin School of Local Regulation and Foundation for the Environment, Italy, where he coordinates research and training programmes on regulation and the environment. He has been Visiting Professor at Politecnico di Torino and Università del Piemonte Orientale in Italy, Saint John International University, USA, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain, and University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
Daniele Russolillo is Programme Manager of the Turin School of Local Regulation and Foundation for the Environment, Italy, in charge of the business development and management of operations. He has been actively involved in research and capacity building projects on local public services regulation and energy and environmental policies in Europe and in developing and emerging countries.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer
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Published on
Oct 26, 2016
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Pages
377
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ISBN
9781137588289
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Comparative Politics
Political Science / General
Political Science / Political Economy
Political Science / Public Affairs & Administration
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
Political Science / Public Policy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This book addresses one of the enduring questions of democratic government: why do governments choose some public policies but not others? Political executives focus on a range of policy issues, such as the economy, social policy, and foreign policy, but they shift their priorities over time. Despite an extensive literature, it has proven surprisingly hard to explain policy prioritisation. To remedy this gap, this book offers a new approach called public policy investment: governments enhance their chances of getting re-elected by managing a portfolio of public policies and paying attention to the risks involved. In this way, government is like an investor making choices about risk to yield returns on its investments of political capital. The public provides signals about expected political capital returns for government policies, or policy assets, that can be captured through expressed opinion in public polls. Governments can anticipate these signals in the choices they make. Statecraft is the ability political leaders have to consider risk and return in their policy portfolios and do so amidst uncertainty in the public's policy valuation. Such actions represent the public's views conditionally because not every opinion change is a price signal. It then outlines a quantitative method for measuring risk and return, applying it to the case of Britain between 1971 and 2000 and offers case studies illustrating statecraft by prime ministers, such as Edward Heath or Margaret Thatcher. The book challenges comparative scholars to apply public policy investment to countries that have separation of powers, multiparty government, and decentralization.
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