Government Digital: The Quest to Regain Public Trust. Dundurn. 2018.

While most of society is able to benefit from the technological advances associated with the information age and industrial revolutions, governments everywhere lag far behind the cutting edge. This is not simply a question of governments being slow to adopt modern technologies into their operations- although incidents like the federal Phoenix pay system fiasco demonstrate that this too continues to be a problem- but the principal issue of the age comes down to redefining the relationship between state and citizenry in light of the potential that comes with digital technologies. At the core of Newman’s work is his decision to treat P3s as examples of governance (sometimes called networked governance to avoid confusion with the use of the term simply to mean the act of governing). In a policy field characterized by governance, government is one of many partners who have a say in shaping and implementing policy. Government needs to lead the partnership, but cannot too overtly command, if networked arrangements are to succeed. Beginning from that insight, Newman chooses to evaluate two similar P3 projects. These are the transit lines connecting Vancouver, BC, and Sydney, Australia to their respective airports and nearby suburbs.  Vancouver’s Canada Line is often described as a public-policy success. The Sydney Airport Rail Link as a public-policy failure. Can governance failure in the latter case explain the difference in outcomes? Newman makes a strong case that it can.

Femocratic Administration: Gender, Governance, and Democracy in Ontario, University of Toronto Press. UTP. 2016.

What does state feminism in Canada look like and how can it help improve democracy and political representation? These are some of the questions that Tammy Findlay tackles in her thought-provoking historical examination of the Ontario Women’s Directorate in Femocratic Administration. At the core of Newman’s work is his decision to treat P3s as examples of governance (sometimes called networked governance to avoid confusion with the use of the term simply to mean the act of governing). In a policy field characterized by governance, government is one of many partners who have a say in shaping and implementing policy. Government needs to lead the partnership, but cannot too overtly command, if networked arrangements are to succeed. Beginning from that insight, Newman chooses to evaluate two similar P3 projects. These are the transit lines connecting Vancouver, BC, and Sydney, Australia to their respective airports and nearby suburbs.  Vancouver’s Canada Line is often described as a public-policy success. The Sydney Airport Rail Link as a public-policy failure. Can governance failure in the latter case explain the difference in outcomes? Newman makes a strong case that it can.

Book Review: Prime Ministerial Power in Canada: Its Origins under MacDonald, Laurier, and Borden. UBC Press. 2017.

The centralization of power thesis is one of the best- known tenets in Canadian political science. Patrice Dutil’s Prime Ministerial Power in Canada: Its Origins under MacDonald, Laurier, and Borden makes an important empirical contribution to this debate. At the core of Newman’s work is his decision to treat P3s as examples of governance (sometimes called networked governance to avoid confusion with the use of the term simply to mean the act of governing). In a policy field characterized by governance, government is one of many partners who have a say in shaping and implementing policy. Government needs to lead the partnership, but cannot too overtly command, if networked arrangements are to succeed. Beginning from that insight, Newman chooses to evaluate two similar P3 projects. These are the transit lines connecting Vancouver, BC, and Sydney, Australia to their respective airports and nearby suburbs.  Vancouver’s Canada Line is often described as a public-policy success. The Sydney Airport Rail Link as a public-policy failure. Can governance failure in the latter case explain the difference in outcomes? Newman makes a strong case that it can.

Book Review: Democratic Illusion: Deliberative Democracy in Canadian Public Policy (UTP, 2015)

Genevieve Fuji Johnson, the author of “Democratic Illusion” provides an interesting introduction to the literature of deliberative democracy and embarks upon the task of assessing if the ‘ideal of deliberative democracy’ has been achieved by analyzing four cases invoking procedures associated with deliberative democracy in Canadian public policy. In separate chapters, case studies were selected that were most likely to be successful in approximating the deliberative ideal, including the participatory budgeting (2001-12) of Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), deliberative polls (2004,2005, 2009) of Nova Scotia Power Incorporated (NSPI), an iterative national consultation process (2002-2005; 2008-2010) of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), and embedded policy consultations (2000-2012) of the Government of Nunavut in regard to official languages. Rich detail is presented and analyzed through interpretive case studies, evaluating them using deliberative democratic criteria, including participatory inclusion, procedural equality, access to information and empowerment in policy decisions. At the core of Newman’s work is his decision to treat P3s as examples of governance (sometimes called networked governance to avoid confusion with the use of the term simply to mean the act of governing). In a policy field characterized by governance, government is one of many partners who have a say in shaping and implementing policy. Government needs to lead the partnership, but cannot too overtly command, if networked arrangements are to succeed. Beginning from that insight, Newman chooses to evaluate two similar P3 projects. These are the transit lines connecting Vancouver, BC, and Sydney, Australia to their respective airports and nearby suburbs.  Vancouver’s Canada Line is often described as a public-policy success. The Sydney Airport Rail Link as a public-policy failure. Can governance failure in the latter case explain the difference in outcomes? Newman makes a strong case that it can.

At the Centre of Government: The Prime Minister and the Limits on Political Power. McGill-Queens University Press, 2018. 205pp, with index.

Ian Brodie is in an exceptionally rare position to offer thoughts on the burning issue of prime ministerial power. After earning a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Calgary, where he met individuals who would later shape his career, he taught at Western University and published Friends of the Court: The Privileging of Interest Group Litigants in Canada (2002). Brodie was very active in conservative political circles, both in Calgary and in London, Ontario, and rose to become Chief of Staff to Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper. When the Conservatives were asked to form a minority government in 2006, he became the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister and would serve as such for 2.5 years, until June 2008. Based on what he experienced, he tests in this book the prevailing notion that governmental power has become too concentrated in the hands of the prime minister. It is an argument he rejects, taking particular aim at Donald Savoie’s Governing from the Centre (1999) and Democratizing the Constitution: Reforming Responsible Government (2011) by Peter Aucoin, Mark Jarvis and Lori Turnbull.

Book Review: Governing Public-Private Partnerships Montreal, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017, pp. 188.

This book provides an approach to studying public-private partnerships (P3s) which holds promise for future academic research and for providing advice to practitioners.  At the core of Newman’s work is his decision to treat P3s as examples of governance (sometimes called networked governance to avoid confusion with the use of the term simply to mean the act of governing). In a policy field characterized by governance, government is one of many partners who have a say in shaping and implementing policy. Government needs to lead the partnership, but cannot too overtly command, if networked arrangements are to succeed. Beginning from that insight, Newman chooses to evaluate two similar P3 projects. These are the transit lines connecting Vancouver, BC, and Sydney, Australia to their respective airports and nearby suburbs.  Vancouver’s Canada Line is often described as a public-policy success. The Sydney Airport Rail Link as a public-policy failure. Can governance failure in the latter case explain the difference in outcomes? Newman makes a strong case that it can.

Book Review: The Boundary Bargain. Growth, Development, and the Future of City-County Separation. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press. 194pp.

The need for coordinated government of cities and the adjacent rural areas has never been greater. Urban areas have expanded and sprawl discontinuously, so that rural and urban spaces become intertwined. At the same time, commuters and weekend trippers make a mockery of boundaries. But city and county governments are often separate and poorly coordinated. In Canada, the only provinces where regional governments are the norm are B.C. and Quebec; in Ontario there are ten, leaving eighteen places where the administrative line between city and country is sharp. The Boundary Bargain, by Zachary Spicer, considers the resultant problems, and possible solutions.

Book Review: A Quiet Evolution: The Emergence of Indigenous-Local Intergovernmental Partnerships in Canada. UTP. 2016.

The Maritimes has a long-term challenge with economic development. The issue of Maritime economic underdevelopment has been studied by all manner of economists, politicians, scholars and assorted intellectuals seeking clues and policy measures which might jolt the region out of its perennial slump. Harold Innis, Canada’s most celebrated political economist, even helped to chair a Royal Commission on the subject in the 1930s. Now, Donald Savoie offers an attempt at the subject in Looking for Bootstraps.

Book Review: Looking for Bootstraps: Economic Development in the Maritimes. Nimbus Publishing. (2017)

The Maritimes has a long-term challenge with economic development. The issue of Maritime economic underdevelopment has been studied by all manner of economists, politicians, scholars and assorted intellectuals seeking clues and policy measures which might jolt the region out of its perennial slump. Harold Innis, Canada’s most celebrated political economist, even helped to chair a Royal Commission on the subject in the 1930s. Now, Donald Savoie offers an attempt at the subject in Looking for Bootstraps.

Book Review: Fiscal Federalism and Equalization Policy in Canada: Political and Economic Dimensions. University of Toronto Press. (2017)

Alberta’s newly-formed United Conservative Party and its Leader, Jason Kenney, have tapped into a wellspring of regional grievances within that province’s electorate by harshly criticizing the federal government’s fiscal equalization program.  Kenney has promised to hold a referendum on whether that program should be modified to remove non-renewable natural resources from the equalization formula.  He has made this promise even though he is fully aware that, under the equalization program, there is no direct transfer of fiscal resources from “have” provinces like Alberta to “have-not” provinces.