Summary of Governing by Network

The New Shape of the Public Sector

Brookings Institution Press, more...

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Governing by Network book summary
Increasingly, governments are contracting with private businesses to provide cheaper, higher quality goods and services.


7 Overall

6 Applicability

8 Innovation

5 Style


The average citizen may not notice it, but government is rapidly changing. Nongovernment workers are now delivering services that the government used to deliver as recently as a decade ago. As public policy specialists, authors Stephen Goldsmith and William Eggers know this area well. Their book is full of dense organizational descriptions, which come to life only when they use real-world examples. Fortunately, they do so often, presenting interesting facts and case studies. Still, this book is intended for serious students of public policy and government. Numerous checklists bog it down and may not be practical to use. recommends it to public officials, policy-makers and citizens who want to understand trends in government and the ways that governing by network is changing the political scene.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why governments are increasingly turning to private sector providers
  • How to make public-private collaborations work
  • How public-private enterprises accomplish their goals


The National Park Service Cleans Up
Since 1916, the U.S. National Park Service had administered the nation’s parks by itself, without any input or assistance from the private sector. Then, in 1993, hundreds of acres that formerly comprised the Presidio military base, adjacent to the Golden...
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About the Authors

Stephen Goldsmith, mayor of Indianapolis from 1992 to 1999, is a professor of government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He chairs the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation and the Manhattan Institute Center on Civic Innovation. He is the author of The 21st Century City. William D. Eggers is the global director at Deloitte Research, Public Sector, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing writer to Public CIO magazine. He is co-author of Revolution at the Roots.

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