Brandt School Universität Erfurt

New Publication: “Public Policy Research in the Global South. A Cross-Country Perspective” by Prof. Dr. Heike Grimm

This month, Springer published Prof. Dr. Heike Grimm’s compilation “Public Policy Research in the Global South. A Cross-Country Perspective”. The book thematises the topic of public policy research in the Global South, which lies at the core of the Brandt School’s research. It provides a spectrum of case studies from Paraguay, Gambia, Colombia, Brazil, Ghana, the Philippines, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan with valuable contributions, among them, from MPP graduates and alumni.

The publication corresponds with the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Brandt Report, and presents the issue, topical now as it was then, of just and consistent development policy at global level. Policymakers and heads of state today face increasing challenges, including migration, corruption, climate change, and financial crises, which make international cooperation indispensable. For effective crisis management, extended knowledge about local and regional conditions in the Global South is required. However, research indicates the existence of a “knowledge divide” in this field, as there are far fewer case studies in and research findings from this region. Without bridging this knowledge divide, unfavorable decisions in designing development policy will remain a pressing issue.

The compilation is introduced by David B. Audretsch, who appreciates the establishment of public policy as a scientific discipline, while also contemplating, “Even while the globalization of the past two decades has convinced us that no man or country is an island, public policy research remains fixated on the North.” This book breaks the mold by providing a gateway to a fertile new frontier and context for public policy research – “the South”.

In the first chapter, Heike Grimm describes how public policy research and teaching emerged in the Global North and elucidates the desideratum and potential added value of public policy research from the Global South. Following a theoretical introduction to the compilation, Richard Rose, the renowned political scientist, together with his colleague Caryn Peiffer, presents a comparative study of 122 and 176 countries, which are featured in the Global Corruption Barometer and the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, respectively. The evaluation of the data sets by these researchers reveals a generalizability of characteristics, sources, and impacts of corruption throughout the different countries, and supports the notion of a differentiation in pattern between the Global North and the Global South that is, in this respect, untenable. The compilation provides a spectrum of case studies from Paraguay, Gambia, Colombia, Brazil, Ghana, the Philippines, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. This diversity in scope illustrates an example of public policy from the Global South’s perspective.

Ultimately, the book adds valuable insights to public policy research and constitutes an indispensable support for context-minded and efficient policymaking.