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Strategies for GoverningReinventing Public Administration for a Dangerous Century$
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Alasdair Roberts

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501714405

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501714405.001.0001

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Aspects of Institutional Stewardship

Aspects of Institutional Stewardship

(p.59) Chapter 8 Aspects of Institutional Stewardship
Strategies for Governing

Alasdair Roberts

Cornell University Press

This chapter addresses institutional stewardship and how leaders focus heavily on institutions, because institutions are the means by which life is breathed into governance strategies. Leaders must attend to four tasks: the design and consolidation of new institutions and the administration and adaptation of existing institutions. Leaders and critics outside the state are constantly engaged in debate about institutional design. The pressure to invent new designs is felt most intensely where threats to the state are perceived to be severe—in the field of national defense or internal security, for example. Leaders often borrow designs from powerful or rival states in addition to learning from their own experience. Meanwhile, the term “consolidation” is often used by experts in peacebuilding and statebuilding—that is, the job of shoring up fragile states. Consolidation has also been described as the process of solidifying or “locking in” new arrangements. Once established, institutions must be administered. Administration encompasses the running of organizations, the enforcement of laws, and the execution of programs. The final aspect of institutional stewardship is adaptation: the renovation or reform of institutions in response to changing conditions.

Keywords:   institutional stewardship, state leaders, state institutions, governance strategies, institutional design, consolidation, administration, adaptation

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