Friday, January 6, 2012

A Fresh Start to 2012

Towards the end of 2011, the number of posts on this blog trailed off as my schedule became busy. Apart from finishing the second to last semester of my Masters in Public Administration program, I was working on applications for PhD programs (which I hope to begin next fall). During this time a couple major events in my life occurred as well. On a positive note, I got engaged to an amazing woman and enjoyed a wonderful vacation with much of her family. On a sadder note, my family lost an incredible woman with the passing of my grandmother.

The start of a new year presents an opportunity for a fresh start to blogging and a chance to add some new features to the blog. Beginning this weekend you will see the first installments of my quote of the week and a weekly post highlighting my top reading recommendations. As the year progresses I also intend to post some book reviews. Hopefully this year will provide greater freedom time-wise to increase the frequency of posts detailing my own thoughts and observations. As always, I encourage readers to either post comments or e-mail me directly with questions, comments or suggestions.

As I look to improve my own blog, the beginning of 2012 marks the return to blogging of Dr. Francis Fukuyama at The American Interest. Fukuyama has spent time at several “institutions dedicated to public policy: the State Department, the Rand Corporation and the Rand Graduate School, George Mason’s School of Public Policy, Johns Hopkins SAIS, and now Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.” He has taken the past two years off from blogging, in part, to write the first volume of his book, The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution. Although getting through this monstrous book may appear a daunting task, the effort is very rewarding for anyone sharing an interest in the history of political economy.

While I encourage following Fukuyama’s blog, I want to specifically draw attention to his first post of the year titled “Why Public Administration Gets No Respect But Should.” Much of the information I read on blogs or in the media, and even comment on here, is more directly related to public policy. Discussions tend to revolve around which policy is best and, as Fukuyama points out, ignore how easily or effectively a given policy can be implemented. Sheer impracticality of implementation renders many of the most well thought out policies ineffective.

As I approach the completion of my Master’s in Public Administration and head towards a PhD, the importance of public administration is certainly a belief I share. Regardless of one’s political affiliation, I think most Americans (probably most people) will agree that government (on any level) could be more effective and efficient. Improving education in public administration and incorporating these topics into policy conversations will go a long way towards improving governance. I fully intend to be part of this effort in the years ahead.

Happy New Year!

No comments:

Post a Comment