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Rediscovered after 80 years gathering dust on a family bookshelf and first brought to public attention on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, A VERY UNIMPORTANT OFFICER is a detailed and intimate account of the experience of Captain Stewart, an ordinary officer in the front line in France and Flanders throughout 1916 and 1917. Recruited to The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) in 1915 at the age of 33, Captain Stewart went 'over the top' many times, outliving 'so many better men', as he says with typical humility. Through his vivid testimony we learn of the mud ('more like thick slime'), the flies and the difficulties of suffering dysentry while on horseback. In one memorable passage he describes engaging the enemy while smoking a pipe - an episode for which he was awarded the Military Cross. Yet through the chaos and horror of the trenches, Captain Stewart reflects with compassion on the fears and immense courage of the men under his command. Newly edited by his grandson, Cameron Stewart, A VERY UNIMPORTANT OFFICER gives us a fascinating insight into the horrors and absurdities of trench life.
Climate change, economic crises, migration, and terrorism are among the many problems that challenge public governance in modern societies. Many of these problems are spanning political and administrative units; horizontally, vertically, and both. This makes public governance particularly challenging and turbulent. Since public governance mainly takes place through public organizations, like international organizations, ministries, and regulatory agencies, this book examines what difference organizational factors make in the governance process. The volume launches a general organizational approach to public governance. It outlines key theoretical dimensions that cut across governance structures and processes horizontally as well as vertically, thus paving the way for integrating separate empirical analyses into a coherent theoretical whole. Moreover, the organizational (independent) variables outlined in this book represent classical dimensions in the organization literature that are generic in character. This allows for generalizations across time and space. The volume also examines (organizational) design implications: By building systematic knowledge on how organizational factors shape governance processes on the one hand, and how organizational factors themselves might be deliberately changed on the other, the book offers a knowledge base for organizational design.

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