New flag

Eagles are a dime a dozen…

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

8 thoughts on “New flag”

  1. There’s a saying in the music world: Premieres are easy, it’s second performances (by a new ensemble) that are hard.

    Something like it is true in politics as well. The first election is easy, it’s the second one (and the orderly transfer of power) that’s hard. I’m reserving judgment on the current events in Tunis and Cairo until they’ve held the second election in a manner better than Florida, 2000.

  2. Dennis, the issue is not a second ELECTION. The issue is a second TRANSFER OF POWER.

    South Africa, for example, has not had a transfer of power since the ANC came in 1994, even though there have elections in 1999, 2004, and 2009. I don’t want to flat out say a country like that is not a democracy, but I certainly don’t feel much optimism about their future, and would not be surprised to see things become ugly should subsequent events show the ANC no longer popular and unlikely to win an election.

  3. “The ballot can’t fit through the slot?”

    A classic feature from the Egyptian School of ballot box design. The box is delivered with well-considered votes already inside. A small slot prevents undesirable, low-quality votes from getting in and contaminating the results.

  4. @Maynard,

    Did you read what I wrote? I wrote, “… it’s the second one (and the orderly transfer of power) that’s hard.”

    As far as South Africa goes, the jury’s still out. I worried about Mexico (I live on the border) when it became apparent that the PAN was going to win. Everything moved smoothly, although the border region’s a complete mess now for other reasons. When you consider what the ANC did in South Africa, I think it’s understandable that they have been regularly returned to power.

    Revolutions in situ seem to be much messier things than throwing out colonialists. I think that’s understandable. Egypt is going to be an interesting case study. But I’m crossing visiting the Valley of the Kings off my bucket list.

  5. To Eds (Mark??)

    I’m sorry about the unclosed html tag. Could someone close the strong tag in line 1 above just before the close parenthesis? Thanks.

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