New Book Releases

When Governments Listen: Moving Toward Publicly Engaged Governing

Cohn-Berman, Barbara. When Governments Listen: Moving Toward Publicly Engaged Governing. Fund for the City of New York, 2012. Print.

Book Description: 

What happens when governments really listen to their constituents? Barbara Cohn Berman raises this provocative question in her new book, “When Governments Listen”. In it she provides some answers, recounting her eight years of work with 70 governments in the U.S. and Canada. “When Governments Listen” follows up on her groundbreaking 2005 book, “Listening to the Public” in which she revealed what her Center on Government Performance learned about the public’s perceptions of and needs from their local government, and that, without effective two-way communication, disconnects occur. In this new book she introduces us to the 70 governments and their project directors. She dubs them “Trailblazers”, who use new ways to learn from the public, and then respond to and serve it better. They are the innovators and doers in a growing movement toward publicly engaged governing. Ms. Cohn Berman shares their successes and challenges — and provides insights and lessons of value to anyone who cares about how government works. (Source:

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