Booknotes

Article excerpt

Authors and publishers interested in having their books included in Booknotes and considered for inclusion in a book review essay should send copies to the book review editor. Books listed here may be included in a book review essay later.

Blahous, Charles P. III. 2000. Reforming Social Security for Ourselves and Our Posterity. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Blahous addresses the need for social security reform from the perspective of a Washington insider. Arguing that reform is necessary, he examines the policy issues and describes the political context in which decisions will be made.

Bowers, James R., and Wilbur C. Rich, eds. 2000. Governing Middle-sized Cities: Studies in Mayoral Leadership. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

This is a collection of 12 case studies exploring a variety of problems faced by medium-sized cities (such as Albuquerque, Birmingham, Providence, and Youngstown) and the approaches that mayors have taken in dealing with them.

Burke, John P. 2000. Presidential Transitions: From Politics to Practice. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Because they shape the processes and organizational framework for policy decisions, Burke argues that the transition periods leading to new presidential administrations are very important. His book, thus, examines the organization and management of decision-making processes during the transitions and early administrations of four recent presidential administrations.

Cordes, Joseph J., Robert D. Ebel, and Jane G. Gravelle, eds. 1999. The Encyclopedia of Taxation and Tax Policy. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press.

More than 150 contributors authored the 200 essays that are included in this collection of peer-reviewed research. It contains broad essays on economic concepts as well as detailed treatments on specific types of taxes.

El-Ayouty, Yassin, Kevin J. Ford, and Mark Davies, eds. 2000. Government Ethics and Law Enforcement: Toward Global Guidelines. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Because they recognize that the quality of governance in a country is an important factor affecting its overall development, the contributors to this volume attempt to describe the principles that provide a foundation for effective and efficient governance. They address such issues as ethics, regulation, transparency, predictability, and accountability.

Ferguson, Paul R., and Glenys J. Ferguson. 2000. Organizations: A Strategic Perspective. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Attempting to contribute to the study of organizations an approach that more adequately addresses nonprofit organizations and better investigates the forces that shape organizations, this book is aimed at existing and prospective managers. It deals with how to evaluate practices and how to improve performance.

Helms, Ludger, ed. 2000. Institutions and Institutional Change in the Federal Republic of Germany. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Nine German scholars assess their country's political institutions, focusing on their stability and adaptability. They also examine the impact of German unification and European integration on the institutions' performance.

Hula, Richard C., and Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, eds. 2000. Nonprofits in Urban America. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

The contributors to this volume study the role of nonprofits in governance, their potential for replacing social welfare institutions, and the impacts their changing roles have had on their internal dynamics. Each chapter focuses on a different emerging role.

Hyclak, Thomas. 2000. Rising Wage Inequality: The 1980s Experience in Urban Labor Markets. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

Hyclak focuses on local labor markets to examine the dramatic increase in wage inequality during the 1980s. What was the relative importance of institutional factors and market forces? …