REUTERS/Scott Cohen- Emergency personnel stand on the remains of the collapsed I-35W bridge that spans the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2, 2007. Divers searched for victims submerged in the swirling, murky waters of the Mississippi River in what authorities said would be a slow and dangerous recovery operation after the worst U.S. bridge collapse in more than 20 years.

Paper | Strengthening American Democracy

A Cascade of Failures: Why Government Fails, and How to Stop It

July 14, 2014, Paul C. Light

In this research paper, Paul C. Light writes that the “first step in preventing future failures is to find a reasonable set of past failures that might yield lessons for repair.” To meet this goal, Light asks four key questions about past federal government failures: (1) where did government fail, (2) why did government fail, (3) who caused the failures, and (4) what can be done to fix the underlying problems?

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