USC Price School of Public Policy

Global Reach:

USC Price hosts dean of Berlin’s Hertie School of Governance

March 13, 2013

Helmut Anheier, dean of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, discusses governance challenges at USC. (Photo/Deirdre Flanagan)

By Cristy Lytal

The USC Price School of Public Policy welcomed Helmut Anheier, dean of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, who addressed current and critical governance challenges during a presentation at Lewis Hall on March 8.

Founded in 2003 as a project of the Hertie Foundation, the Hertie School is an independent academic institution with an international and interdisciplinary faculty engaged in teaching, public debate and policy research in global governance, political economy and finance, public management and leadership.

In 2011, USC Price and the Hertie School signed an agreement to promote academic collaborations, including student and faculty exchanges.

Speaking to an audience of USC Price faculty and students, Anheier discussed the main points from The Governance Report 2013. The report, written by a team of experts at the Hertie School, is the first in an annual series highlighting key governance issues.

According to the report, the current state of governance reflects the challenge of growing interdependence among countries.

“The conditions of governance have changed quite a lot,” Anheier said. “After three decades of massive globalization, we have an interdependence among sovereign states that wasn’t really there before. And it may be felt less in the United States, but it’s certainly felt very much so in most other parts of the world. The European countries are perhaps the most interdependent right now.”

The implications of interdependence extend into financial and fiscal governance, the main policy theme of this year’s report. As part of its exploration of financial and fiscal governance, the report asks: Are we ready to face another crisis, such as the one we had in 2008? According to Anheier, the answer is an emphatic no.

“We’re quite doubtful that we will do much better,” he said. “And we also know that the next crisis is going to come. It seems naïve to think that the 2008 crisis, the Great Recession, is the last one.”

Anheier mentioned two other areas of acute interdependence among nations.

“The environment is a second one, whether it’s global warming, carbon trading and different ways of dealing with pollution and cross-border issues or energy,” he said. “And the third one is demography and migration.”

Despite this growing interdependence, many governments continue to make decisions narrowly based on national interest. This gives rise to the “sovereignty paradox” — in an interdependent world, eschewing international cooperation undermines rather than strengthens states’ policymaking capacity. The solution, Anheier explained, is responsible sovereignty or “a search for positive sum solutions in how countries manage interdependence.”

The report also featured approximately 12 innovative practices in governance, new governance indicators and key recommendations.

“The most important recommendation that we really want to push at the moment has to do with developing this notion of responsible sovereignty,” Anheier said. “We need to make it concrete. It’s really innovation in how we want to think about sovereignty in the future, knowing that we have this interdependent world.”

The Hertie School plans to partner with colleagues at other institutions to prepare future editions of The Governance Report, which will address the capacity of governments in the public sector, infrastructure and energy, and private governance.

More information on the report, along with data and resources, can be found at governancereport.org