Glicksman Explores Good and Bad Design Of Government

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January 24, 2020

J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law Robert L. Glicksman's new book Reorganizing Government: A Functional and Dimensional Framework explores how thoughtful design of governmental institutions and regulatory structures can help avoid regulatory failure and promote social welfare.

Book cover of Professor Robert L. Glicksman's new book, Reorganizing Government.Professor Glicksman, an expert on environmental, natural resources, and administrative law issues, co-authored the book with Alejandro E. Camacho, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.

In Reorganizing Government, available through NYU Press, Professors Glicksman and Camacho advance an analytical framework of governmental authority structured along three dimensions—centralization, overlap, and coordination. The authors demonstrate how differentiating among these dimensions better illuminates the policy tradeoffs of organizational alternatives, and reduces the risk of regulatory failure. They also argue that policymakers should explore whether the structure of inter-agency relationships should vary for different regulatory tasks, or functions.

They use six case studies from a variety of legal and policy regimes to show how failures to follow these precepts has contributed, and likely will continue to contribute, to regulatory programs that fail to achieve policymakers' goals in adopting them.

Professor Robert L. Glicksman teaches in the front of a classroom."Government should be a function of good design," Professor Glicksman said on a recent episode of "Connect the Dots," a Center for Progressivism podcast. He added that conflation of the three dimensions is common, prompting policymakers to adopt solutions that do not fit their own diagnosis of what ails regulatory programs. In addition, failure to adjust inter-agency structures on a function-by-function basis had led to missed opportunities to promote more effective, efficient, fair, and accountable government.

The authors have also been featured in The Hill, the Yale Journal of Regulation, Penn Law's The Regulatory Review, and on the "Good Law Bad Law" podcast.

In the Administrative Law Review Accord, author Joel A Mintz writes that"Reorganizing Government is a crucial contribution to the scholarly literature concerning how policymakers should allocate governmental authority. The pioneering analytical framework it crafts has the potential to make government reorganizations more rational and justifiable. If adopted, its approach can spur much-needed open discussion, clarity, and transparent justification with regard to institutional arrangements."


Read more about Professor Glicksman's new book