Merilee Grindle

Merilee Grindle
Harvard University | Harvard · Harvard Kennedy School of Government

About

73
Publications
14,863
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7,451
Citations
Citations since 2017
4 Research Items
2730 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500

Publications

Publications (73)
Chapter
This chapter offers an alternative reading that supports most of the conclusion but which draws closer attention to the critical issue of implementation. In many respects the six country cases focused on have followed a similar path in education policy: all expended significant effort increasing coverage in line with an international agenda and oft...
Book
This book addresses the broader questions of how both the content and the context of public policy affect its implementation. Through a series of case studies from Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Zambia, Kenya, and India, ten scholars here demonstrate that numerous factors intervene between the statement of policy goals and their actual achievement...
Article
The World Bank has recently released its Public Sector Management (PSM) Approach for 2011–20. This commentary reviews the core messages of this document and then indicates how it embodies a convergence between academic research and practice in its approach and analytic framework. It then presents a ‘thought experiment’ about how practitioners might...
Article
Public sector reform as problem-solving? The World Bank has recently released its Public Sector Management (PSM) Approach for 2011–20. This commentary reviews the core messages of this document and then indicates how it embodies a convergence between academic research and practice in its approach and analytic framework. It then presents a ‘thought...
Article
Obra en que se estudian los efectos de la descentralización en treinta municipios mexicanos; se analiza cómo responden los gobiernos locales cuando se les asignan nuevas responsabilidades y recursos bajo políticas de descentralización claras. Asimismo, se explica porqué en algunos casos estas medidas funcionan mejor que en otros: el proceso de desc...
Article
As countries throughout the world democratize and decentralize, citizen participation in public life should increase. In this paper, I suggest that democratic participation in local government is enhanced when citizens can reply affirmatively to at least three questions about their ability to hold local officials accountable for their actions: Can...
Article
Ideas about social policy and its role in development have shifted over time, signaling the difficulty of finding clarity in approaches to social investment, poverty alleviation, and equity. In consequence, research and practice related to social policy and poverty alleviation have left a legacy of a very broad agenda of “things that need to be don...
Article
Patronage—the discretionary allocation of public sector jobs—continues to be a dominant way government is staffed in most Latin American countries and it is proving resistant to the imprecations of public sector reformers. Despite the ubiquity of patronage systems, however, all major countries in Latin America have legislation establishing a formal...
Article
Good governance has grown rapidly to become a major ingredient in analyses of what’s missing in countries struggling for economic and political development. Intuitively and in research, good governance is a seductive idea—who, after all, can reasonably defend bad governance? Nevertheless, the popularity of the idea has far outpaced its capacity to...
Article
The concept of good enough governance provides a platform for questioning the long menu of institutional changes and capacity-building initiatives currently deemed important (or essential) for development. Nevertheless, it falls short of being a tool to explore what, specifically, needs to be done in any real world context. Thus, as argued by the a...
Article
The concept of good enough governance provides a platform for questioning the long menu of institutional changes and capacity-building initiatives currently deemed important (or essential) for development. Nevertheless, it falls short of being a tool to explore what, specifically, needs to be done in any real world context. Thus, as argued by the a...
Chapter
Successful policies, those that ‘have endured, met their aims and secured the acquiescence of those who initially opposed them,’ sometimes succeed by adapting to new circumstances and realities, as Willy McCourt and Tony Bebbington point out in Chapter 1. Creative adjustment may therefore be one way that such policies endure over time and continue...
Article
Craig Arceneaux and David Pion-Berlin, Transforming Latin America: The International and Domestic Origins of Change (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005), pp. x+267, $27.95, pb. - - Volume 38 Issue 3 - MERILEE S. GRINDLE
Article
Capacity building is a frequent tonic prescribed for local governments in poor performance health. Such initiatives purport to get to the heart of governance with technical approaches that are free of partisanship and political controversy. Data from municipal governments newly affected by decentralisation and democratisation indicate that, contrar...
Article
Alfred P. Montero and David J. Samuels (eds.), Decentralization and Democracy in Latin America (Notre Dame, IN: The University of Notre Dame Press, 2004), pp. ix+309, $47.50, $27.50 pb. - - Volume 37 Issue 1 - MERILEE S. GRINDLE
Article
The good governance agenda is unrealistically long and growing longer over time. Among the multitude of governance reforms that “must be done” to encourage development and reduce poverty, there is little guidance about what's essential and what's not, what should come first and what should follow, what can be achieved in the short term and what can...
Article
John Crabtree and Laurence Whitehead (eds.), Towards Democratic Viability: The Bolivian Experience (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), pp. xiv+240, £47.50 hb. - - Volume 34 Issue 2 - MERILEE S. GRINDLE
Article
Stimulated by the extensive policy changes introduced in developing countries in the period after 1980, a large literature has demonstrated that the success or failure of reform is profoundly influenced by power relationships among affected interests, executives and legislatures, leaders and party elites, and national governments and international...
Article
Whether considering health, education, or pension systems, and regardless of the extent of change proposed, conventional political economy indicates that reform initiatives are likely to be met with stiff opposition and lukewarm support. The social sectors are a classic case in which political calculations based on the identification of winners and...
Article
This paper explores some of the central debates in the application of political economy to development policy making. It is particularly concerned with the connection between theory, empirical observation, and the practice of policy decision making. It explores distinct traditions of political economy, some drawn from economics, others based in soc...
Article
Full-text available
Contents Introduction: Practical Political Analysis Five Strategic Guidelines 1. Democracy has differential outcomes for the poor 2. States create and shape the political opportunities for the poor 3. There is no reason to expect that decentralisation will be pro-poor 4. There is a wide range of possibilities for pro-poor political alliances 5. Man...
Article
This paper explores some of the central debates in the application of political economy to development policy making. It is particularly concerned with the connection between theory, empirical observation, and the practice of policy decision making. It explores distinct traditions of political economy, some drawn from economics, others based in soc...
Article
Throughout the developing world, there are organizations that perform relatively well, despite dauntingly unfavorable contexts and despite overall poor public sector performance. This article explores evidence from 29 organizations in six countries to suggest that the concept of organizational culture provides a useful hypothesis to explain why som...
Article
Incl. bibliographical notes and references, index, biographical notes on the contributors
Book
This book is about the paradox of states that have been weakened by crisis just as their capacity to encourage economic development and provide for effective governance most needs to be strengthened. Case studies of Mexico and Kenya document the challenge of dealing with this paradox. In these two countries, crisis underscored the need for the stat...
Article
The authors' studies, in six developing countries, indicate designing interventions that most constructively address sources of poor performance must follow from an assessment of a relatively broad set of variables, including the action environment in which all such activities take place. Effective public sector performance is more often driven by...
Article
This chapter uses the case of Ecuador to explore the political economy of muddling towards adjustment. Here, muddling refers to a pattern of policy reform in which changes are often successfully introduced but then suffer from considerable slippage as they are altered or reversed in response to a variety of political and economic pressures. We are...
Article
Implicit in many reform proposals is a model of the policy process that is roughly linear: a proposed reform gets on the agenda for government action, a decision is made on the proposal, and the new policy or institutional arangement is implemented, either successfully or unsuccessfully. This article presents an alternative, interactive model of im...
Article
This article presents an analytic model for understanding the role of decision makers in bringing about significant policy and institutional changes and in understanding how processes of agenda setting, decision making, and implementation shape the content, timing, and sustainability of reform initiatives. Central to the model is the assertion that...
Article
James Lang, Inside Development in Latin America – A Report from the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Brazil (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989), pp. xx+307. - Volume 21 Issue 3 - Merilee S. Grindle
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the theory that less politics makes better economics. It argues that this perspective on politics misrepresents the dynamics of policymaking in developing countries and is seriously limited in its ability to explain how policy changes come about or how policies are chosen that lead to socially beneficial outcomes. The author in...
Article
This volume is in three parts. The first part identifies the fundamental problems facing designers and managers of small and microenterprise support programs and presents a conceptual framework for organising the search for solutions. Each of the five chapters is abstracted separately. The second part consists of 21 short case studies focusing on k...
Article
I ntegrated rural development programs are currently enjoying a vogue among development planners, international lending institutions, and politicians in many third world countries. Directed toward the rural poor, they are widely proclaimed as means to raise productivity in basic crops, to improve standards of living in the countryside, to provide g...
Chapter
THE politics of policy implementation has recently emerged as a topic of interest for students of politics in both industrial and Third World countries. Implementation has captured their attention because it is evident that a wide variety of factors—from the availability of sufficient resources to the structure of intergovernmental relations, from...
Chapter
The Implementor: Political Constraints on Rural Development in Mexico MERILEE S. GRINDLE CENTRAL among the actors involved in executing government programs in the Third World is a type of official who can be dubbed the “implementor.” While this term is often applied to administrators at different levels of the bureaucratic hierarchy, it is used her...
Article
The six-year presidency or sexenio of Luís Echeverría Alvarez was initiated in December of 1970. Six years later, significant changes had taken place in the public policies espoused by the Mexican regime. Most importantly, perhaps, the federal government shifted its public investment priorities away from an overriding preoccupation with industrial...
Article
Excoriation of public employees has a long tradition in literature which describes the political systems of Latin America. Inefficiency, corruption, partisanship, conservatism, lack of responsiveness to public demands, and vested interests have all been attributed to the personnel staffing the administrative agencies of government. Similarly, throu...
Article
As you know, we have an institution called the sexenio when everything changes. And we're here now for six years. You know how we all come in and get thrown out at the sexenio . If someone has a chief who is capable and has the prospects for a good future, then that person will probably think, “Perhaps I can go with him at the sexenio”; and it happ...
Article
Análisis sobre el modo como se da forma al contenido e implementación de las políticas en México, basado en el estudio de caso de la Compañía Nacional de Subsistencias Populares (CONASUPO), que durante el sexenio de Luis Echeverría Alvarez (1970-1976) planeó y persiguió una nueva política para el desarrollo rural.

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