• Across the Continents: the Global Reach of Public Affairs

      Harris, Phil; University of Chester (Wiley, 2016-05-03)
      Editorial. Public affairs has grown from an industry and research base focused on North America and Europe to one reflecting the world and incorporating the growing consumer strength and development of Asia. When we launched this journal a decade ago, it was dominated by North American research and practice, reflecting much of the then existent economic and cultural hegemony. Increasingly, this was balanced by European contributions as the European Union evolved, and the UK lobbying and communications industry developed alongside its Commonwealth connected partners. This general issue reflects the new world with authors, contributing from Brazil, China, Ghana, Italy, Kenya, Korea, Pakistan, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the UK and the USA. It allows one to evaluate and assess similar issues in each region and state and the campaigns and policy development to aid clarity, accountability, good governance and transparency. Commentary to various papers covering China, Etc.
    • GREXIT, Openness, Transparency and Honesty in Systems (GOTHS): Public Affairs Reflections on Changing Economies and Societies

      Harris, Phil; University of Chester (Wiley, 2015-08-17)
      Editorial Financial capacity and political perspicacity are inversely correlated. Long-run salvation by men of business has never been highly regarded if it means disturbance of orderly life and convenience in the present. So inaction will be advocated in the present even though it means deep trouble in the future. Here, at least equally with Communism, lies the threat to Capitalism. It is what causes men who know that things are going quite wrong to say that things are fundamentally sound.’ Galbraith (2009), The Great Crash of 1929. Page 194 The rumbles of the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis are still with us as the EU has put together another bailout proposal for Greece as a member of the Euro Zone. One wonders whether monitoring and support for quality fiscal management of economies within the Euro Zone have been as robust and rigorous as it should have been. Clearly something for the banks, finance ministers, businesses and economists to reflect on as the Greek Banking system is propped up by Central European economies. Good basic banking is paramount; one can only borrow what one can payback at a realistic rate or one starts moving into areas of usury level re-payments and financial distrust and disharmony in society. To tread carefully, stimulate business, civic society, creativity and be supportive of well managed economies seems to be the general rule that works. Finance and international banking is increasingly attracting major public affairs activity, partly a result of the failures in the system which led to the financial crash in 2008. Bankers were not the only people to blame for the crash but also central bankers and other international financial regulators who bear the responsibility too, who mishandled the crisis and failed to keep economic imbalances in check and for not exercising proper oversight of institutions. The development of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and gradual roll out of the RMB as a world trading currency may lead to greater transparency and balance on theworld financial scene and help stimulate better global regulation of markets and currencies. The signs are good that this will happen. Clearly reform of financial institutions to cope with the rapid speed of financial trading, markets and shifting trends in world trade and investment is needed, underpinned by greater transparency and regulation. The issue contains arange of articles.
    • Lobbying in Europe: Public Affairs and the Lobbying Industry in 28 EU Countries

      Bitonti, A.; Harris, Phil; IES Abroad Rome and University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017-03-01)
      For those studying or working in the field of Public Affairs, in the wide area that connects politics, law, business and communication, Europe represents a fascinating challenge. The European continent provides an incredibly rich picture of political cultures, of institutional frameworks, of governmental styles, of different social, economic and historical traditions, which make up probably the most complex and variegated scenario we may find in the whole world. Even limiting our view to the twenty-eight European Union member states, and considering the unprecedented effort of convergence between different political and legal systems represented today by the EU and by an on-going integration process, we are in front of the most multifaceted Public Affairs arena on the planet, with a composite frame of political systems, a multi-level governance, a population of more than half a billion people speaking at least twenty-four different languages, and one of the most competitive and developed markets, representing around 25% of world GDP. To be able to comprehend how Public Affairs work in such a complex and unique environment can bring us to comprehend a lot about both the industry of Public Affairs in itself and that particular environment as well. That is why, in conceiving this volume, we chose to focus on Europe and on Public Affairs. We decided to narrow our perspective to the EU countries, for a twofold reason. Firstly, we needed a clear and objective criterion to select the cases to analyse and so decide what countries to include in our overview, and EU membership appeared a sufficiently good and definite one, leading us to twenty-eight different case studies (plus the one on the supranational environment of “Brussels bubble”): a size which certainly can be considered rather large in terms of empirical data collected, and – filling an existing gap in the existing literature on the subject – for the first time covering the whole range of national cases within the European Union itself. Secondly, unlike other European countries which are not members of the EU (in 2016 at least), such as Switzerland, Norway or Ukraine, all EU member states have witnessed a convergence and the development of common frameworks of values and institutional designs, due to the influence of the integration process and the shared belonging to a political union, thus allowing common references to be found and making some comparisons easier for an observer. We also chose a field, that of Public Affairs and lobbying, which is meaningful for a number of reasons. Study lobbying in order to study democracy What is democracy today? The world became too complex, trade unions and industry associations no longer enough Multiplicity of interests and policy networks Neo-corporatism, elitism and pluralism in political science History of lobbying (Phil?) Definition of lobbying, theoretical problems “the word lobbying has seldom been used the same way twice by those studying the topic” (Baumgartner and Leech 1998, 33) (Beyers, Eisin and Maloney 2008)
    • Migration, money, markets and morality

      Harris, Phil; University of Chester (Wiley, 2015-11-03)
      Editorial Over the last year, the pressure of economic migration and vast numbers of people on the move who have been destabilised by conflict, instability and deprivation has impacted dramatically upon Europe and particularly the European Union (EU). Pictures of drowned children washed up on beaches, boat swampings, human flotsam, dead bodies of those suffocated and rotting in trucks of those who died being smuggled into the EU from suffocation and heat exhaustion. These are not the pictures of a civilised society and show the gang masters, wretches and gangsters of society taking advantage of human desperation. A coherent policy on economic migrants and political asylum seekers for the multi-state union has shown that one policy fitting all has buckled, broke and does not work. One has to be focused on supporting the weak and the vulnerable and giving clear guidelines on the numbers and quality of migrants that are needed in an economy. This works well in Australia, Canada and New Zealand and should be adopted more widely across the EU. Conflict and instability in the Middle East is fuelling much of this migration and the search for safety by asylum seekers. The instability of Africa and the North Coast of Africa is not helping. Long-term answers and care for immediate needs must be the answer. Europe like America has benefitted from economic migration and the wonderful contributions that asylum seekers and the persecuted have made in the past. We must make policy for refugees and migrants a public affairs and policy priority. This is a general issue of the journal and shows the breadth of thinking across the discipline.
    • To Exit or Not To Exit: That is the Question: To Build or Retreat: That is another Question

      Harris, Phil; University of Chester (Wiley, 2016-08-11)
      Editorial. It has been a very interesting and tragic period for Europe over the last month. The UK voted to leave the EU in its Referendum, Its Prime Minister resigned and Teresa May has taken over as the Second female Conservative Prime Minister and formed a new government. The UK Economy took an initial battering in world markets but seems to have settled down now as global players perceive there are advantages and disadvantages for the UK in being in the EU, but the main thing is stability in global markets. It will also speed-up reform of the EU and its institutions, so this may be advantageous. We have also seen a sharp increase in horrific terror atrocities in Europe, notably France, Belgium and Germany which has pointed to the need for more effective management of our freedoms and security of our citizens. It has been a difficult Summer for Europe. We hope and pray that stability and safety will return as without that society will not be based on a balanced platform to provide for all We are also seeing the emergence of the two contenders for the US Presidency, Donald Trump versus Hilary Clinton. The non-establishment business candidate versus the female long serving politician and social reformer. Cleveland and Philadelphia have all given us insights into what is coming. In addition we will soon have elections in Germany and France, which could see major change, whilst growth in South East Asia continues steadily which can be seen in the positive meeting in Ulan Bator at the 11th ASEM Summit. World regulation and development now seems to be very much to the fore as we build and develop a truly global international economy accountable governmental and financial system, accountability, good governance and transparency will be the core underpinnings of that development This is a general issue of the Journal of Public Affairs