Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Good Enough for Government WorkThe Public Reputation Crisis in America (And What We Can Do to Fix It)$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Amy E. Lerman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226630175

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226630342.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 October 2021

Good Government and Good Governing

Good Government and Good Governing

(p.213) Twelve Good Government and Good Governing
Good Enough for Government Work

Amy E. Lerman

University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the history of good government reforms in the United States. What we can learn from this history is that it is not enough to cut the costs of government. To improve performance and rebuild public trust, it is necessary also to invest in people—to prioritize not just good (read: cheap) government but good governance. If we learn anything by studying the public reputation crisis, it is that quick cost-cutting gains are not always beneficial in the long run; indeed, what is best for short-term efficiency and what is best for long-term efficacy can sometimes conflict, as downsizing can increase some longer-term costs and actually decrease some agencies’ capacity to fulfill their core mission. This suggests that political leaders who are intent on improving government performance must make clear steps to set their efforts up for success, both by getting early buy-in from public employees and by prioritizing long-term goals over short-term fixes.

Keywords:   Good governance, government reform, National Performance Review, downsizing

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.