Director, Lattie & Elva Coor Presidential Chair
Jonathan Koppell is the Director of the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University and holds the Lattie & Elva Coor Presidential Chair.
Dr. Koppell's research concerns the design and administration of complex organizations, particularly entities that hover at the intersection of politics and markets. He has examined global governance organizations that promulgate international rules dealing with everything from accounting to telecommunications to trade in endangered species. And he has written about public-private hybrids, government-created entities that operate in the marketplace to achieve public policy goals. Much of his research addresses key contemporary policy issues including:
- Government involvement in for-profit enterprise (including the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their oversight).
- Global regulatory institutions including international financial regulatory bodies.
- Federal insurance, loan and credit guarantee programs.
- Regulation of financial institutions.
- Corporate governance, including issues related to government ownership and shareholder activism.
In his new book World Rule: Accountability, Legitimacy and the Design of Global Governance (University of Chicago Press, 2010), Koppell looks at global rulemaking bodies such as the World Trade Organization, the International Organization for Standardization and the International Accounting Standards Board. With many agitating for a global regulatory response to the financial crises, Koppell's argument that such global rule-makers are intrinsically accountability-challenged is particularly timely. Global rule-makers must meet normative expectations imported from the domestic context but in order to satisfy the interests of powerful players whose participation is vital, they must sometimes violate democratic principles. The book demonstrates how global governance organizations are designed to balance these considerations.
In The Politics of Quasi-Government: Hybrid Organizations and the Dynamics of Bureaucratic Control (Cambridge University Press, 2003), Koppell raised the dangers presented by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and other hybrids due to their mixed mission and chronically weak regulatory oversight. He is regularly cited as an expert on the housing government-sponsored enterprises and related issues.
As former director of the Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance at Yale University, Koppell oversaw an extensive program that includes conferences, roundtables bringing together industry leaders, support for scholarly research and policy briefings. The Center focused on the necessary private-sector responses to the financial crises, including reform of financial intermediaries, corporate boards, credit rating agencies, institutional investors. Koppells's current research builds on this work, exploring the political dynamics of capital markets.