Daniel Cohn

York University
School of Public Policy & Administration

119 McLaughlin College
York University
Toronto, Ontario
M3J 1P3
dcohn@yorku.ca |  Visit Personal Website

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I am interested in questions of governmental failure, especially when such failure results from following "the best" policy advice, as well as, the role of academics in the policy-making proces. I am also intetrested in how traditional state organizations and processes are changing and alternatives such as networked governance. Specific policy areas of interest to me and captured in my past and ongoing research include health and social policy, the environment, as well as alternative service delivery (such as public-private partnerships). Finally, I have just begun some new work in the area of civic literacy and local government.

Cohn, D. 2016. "Under What Conditions are Ministers able to 'Let Go' in a Westminster System? Evidence from Ontario." Zeitshrift fur Offentliche und Gemeinwirtschaftaflitche Unternehmen (Journal of Public and Non-Profit Servicers), 39(1-2): 65-76.
Abstract: One of the key elements of both the New Public Management and the emerging Public Governance approach is that ministers have to resist the urge to manage. They have to let go and allow their managers to manage and allow deliberative processes involving stakeholders to take their course, even if the outcome in specific cases might prove unpopular. This article seeks to understand the conditions under which governments in a Westminster system are willing to let go and support arms-length decision-making by public sector agencies, even when the results are unpopular with the public. Evidence is drawn from the Canadian province of Ontario in two different policy areas.
DOI: 10.5771/0344-9777-2016-1-2-65
Cohn, D., L. Foster and I. Green 2011. "Learning from History: Program Reviews and Public Safety." Policy Options 64-68.
Abstract: Canada appears headed for a new round of 1990-style program reviews aimed atrnproducing spending restraint. This article uses evidence from two provincialrninquiries into failures of government to caution that conducting such reviews on a whole-of-government basis creates too large a task to undertake withoutrnendangering the lives of Canadians. The danger involved is magnified further when the task is done in an atmosphere of crisis. In order to effect sound public management, program reviews should be done not on a whole-of-governmentrnbasis but at known periodic intervals in individual ministries or program areas.
URL: http://www.irpp.org/po/archive/feb11/cohn.pdf

Substantive Focus:
Governance SECONDARY
Health Policy
Social Policy
Comparative Public Policy PRIMARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Process Theory PRIMARY
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation SECONDARY