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on December 21, 2013
A very well written and clear book, that addresses an interesting puzzle.

The (paraphrased) puzzle is what explains the variance in the extent to which different democracies choose to incur higher short-term costs in order to increase their expected long-term benefits (to invest). The conventional, and cynical, point of view is that in democracies politicians seek to maximize short-term benifits in order to get re-elected. However, the level of investment does differ across democracies, and across issue areas. Why?

Dr. Jacobs does a great job of presenting this puzzle, explaining why it is puzzling, and then explaining what types of institutions are associated with higher (or lower) levels of investment.

Be warned that he does write in quite technical terms. Those who do not have a good grasp of the basic principles and terminology of the social sciences will have trouble following sections of the book.

If you enjoy this book, or want to explore further, I suggest books by Paul Pierson, for instance "The New Politics of the Welfare State", or "Dismantling the Welfare State?"
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on March 19, 2013
Livre excellent que j'ai eu à lire pour un cours de niveau maîtrise en Gouvernance démocratique et gestion publique. Très intéressant, dresse le portrait des problèmes que causent le manque de précision de notre Constitution et comment certaines personnes (l'exécutif) peuvent tirer profils de ces faiblesses. Le tout est très bien écrit, un texte fortement recommandable pour ceux qui s'intéresse à la politique canadienne contemporaine et aux problèmes auxquels les dirigeants du gouvernement et de l'opposition doivent faire face.
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on January 20, 2013
It is as advertised. Interesting points? More of a thesis by an academic then an easy read. But just as you would suspect
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