The next administration will face the reality that our 20th century government is no match for our 21st century problems. In The Next Government of the United States: Why Our Institutions Fail Us and How to Fix Them (Norton, January 2009), Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Donald Kettl writes that our current process of governance has fallen out of sync with the increasingly complex problems that plague the U.S. government. Drawing data from crises like the government’s tragic failure to tackle the plight of Hurricane Katrina’s victims, Kettl outlines the big issues: hamstrung bureaucracies, a Congress with tunnel vision and leaders who too often fail to lead.
On December 17, Brookings Senior Fellow William Galston moderated a discussion with Kettl to examine the governance challenges facing the next administration and offer solutions to the policy problems plaguing our government. They were joined by Elaine Kamarck, lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Jonathan Breul, executive director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government.
This event is part of the Governing Ideas series intended to broaden the discussion of governance issues through forums on timely and relevant books on history, culture, legal norms and practices, values and religion.