The federal government celebrates many quiet victories every day. But when it comes to making headlines, it’s no secret that government failures—not success stories—are more likely to show up on the front page.
In a new research paper, Why Government Fails and How to Stop It, Paul C. Light writes that the “first step in preventing future failures is to find a reasonable set of past failures that might yield lessons for repair.” To meet this goal, Light identifies and ranks 41 important past government failures from 2001 to 2014.
Brookings Governance Studies has developed an interactive that illuminates patterns and characteristics of these significant government failures, as well as important contributing factors to their occurrence. Some failures were small, but received an inordinate amount of media coverage. Others were larger in scale but garnered less interest from the public.
Explore the interactive to learn more: