Government by Investigation
Congress, Presidents, and the Search for Answers, 19452012
Publication Year: 2013
Paul C. Light examines and evaluates the 100 most significant investigations of policy failures, bureaucratic mistakes, and personal misconduct undertaken by the U.S. federal government between 1945 and 2012. Launched by Congress or the president, sometimes by both at the same time, the investigations at the core of this book were driven by the search for answers about significant breakdowns in government performance. Light reveals which investigations were most effective, and why.
Published by: Brookings Institution Press
Table of Contents
...denouement. This book is now done, but there are still questionsdesigning my research plan in September 2006 after conversationslater. The research took three years longer, because the investiga-tory histories were so dense, the questions increasingly compli-cated, the coding more difficult, and the data analysis more intri-...
Introducing the Search for Answers
This book is about the 100 most significant investigations of gov-have asked every possible question, assessed every possible answer,and fixed the breakdown once and for all. But in the real world cov-ered by this book, one group of investigations asked most of thespying in the 1970s, Social Security and the shuttle Challenger in...
Each of the 100 investigations covered in this book left its ownvance. If not absolutely unique, each investigation nevertheless cre-lasted for years, as investigators scoured the country looking forplots against the nation such as communist infiltration of govern-ment, illegal lobbying, or China?s theft of U.S. nuclear secrets, while...
...ise of significance, including a measure of deterrence based on fearand foreboding. This spark often follows a highly visible govern-Robert Dole, Sam Ervin, John Glenn, Lee Hamilton, Charles Grass-ley, J. William Fulbright, Tom Kean, Herbert Hoover, Estes Kefau-ver, Carl Levin, George Mitchell, Warren Rudman, Brent Scowcroft,...
Making Investigations Count
...tive? to describe the good investigation, their focus has long beenon how investigations should work, not on whether investigationsthicken the legislative record for judicial interpretation, identifycredible deterrence against misconduct, make the case for a watch-ful eye on process, policy, and conduct, and may even increase pub-...
Creating High-Impact Investigations
A central lesson of this book is that investigations can be very wellance. Moreover, even when doing it right matters, not all aspects ofthe good investigation carry equal weight in repairing or prevent-ing a breakdown. Visibility is no doubt a valued investigatory goal,for example, but has little bearing on impact. Neither does com-...
Appendix A: Interview Respondents
Appendix B: Sources
Appendix C: Investigation Resumes, 1945-2012
Appendix D: Supporting Statistical Analysis
Page Count: 316
Publication Year: 2013