The Problems with Government and How to Repair Them

Dissemination of RWJF-funded book: "State of the Nation"

Between 1992 and 1998, Derek Bok, former president of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., researched and wrote two books on domestic policy gridlock.

Key Results

  • The first book that resulted, The State of the Nation, published in 1996, examines the nation's performance in five key areas:

    • Economic prosperity.
    • Quality of life.
    • Opportunity.
    • Personal security.
    • Societal values.
  • The second book, The Trouble with Government, published in January 2001, examines why American government fails to address these problems adequately and what can be done to improve its performance.

    Its central thesis is that "only limited improvement in the government's performance can occur without greater effort on the part of citizens."

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