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Public Values and Public Interest

Counterbalancing Economic Individualism

Publication Year: 2007

Economic individualism and market-based values dominate today's policymaking and public management circlesùoften at the expense of the common good. In his new book, Barry Bozeman demonstrates the continuing need for public interest theory in government. P

Published by: Georgetown University Press

Series: Public Management and Change series


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pp. viii

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pp. ix

Two individuals who contributed a great deal to the book are designated as chapter coauthors. Mary Feeney (University of Georgia) has been working with me for several years on various aspects of the public values agenda and wrote much of chapter 2. In addition, she read the entire manuscript and offered valuable criticism, and she provided research assistance for the...

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1. The Privatization of Public Value

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pp. 1-21

No deliberation of politics and political theory claims a more venerable heritage than the dialogues on the existence, nature, and requirements of the “public interest” or the “common good.” In Aristotle’s Politics, the “common interest” (to koinei sympheron) is the rationale for proper constitutions; St. Thomas Aquinas in Summa Theologiae identifies the common good...

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2. Economic Individualism and the “Publicness” of Policies: Cases and Controversies

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pp. 22-46

Is economic individualism sweeping the world? In the words of economist Robert Kuttner (1997), is “everything for sale”? Do we serve “one market under God,” with market populism being “the New American consensus” (Frank 2004, xv)? Or perhaps public policies and public management are proceeding more as less as usual, the cyclical shifts in public and economic...

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3. Economic Individualism in Public Policy

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pp. 47-67

Chapter 1 argued that economic individualism has become increasingly influential in public policy and management, and chapter 2 illustrated some particular instances of economic individualism’s impacts on policy, including in some cases quite unfortunate impacts. This chapter considers some of the pathways by which economic individualism has influenced public...

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4. Economic Individualism in Public Management

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pp. 68-82

The ideas of economic individualism affect not only the design and analysis of public policy but also its management and implementation. Indeed, it seems fair to say that the great preponderance of public management reforms and innovations of the past two decades have primarily been ones based on market or quasi-market theories and concepts. These market-based public...

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5. Public Interest Theory and Its Problems

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pp. 83-99

One commonly held distinction between government and market organizations is that government should work in the “public interest” (Appleby 1952; Flathman 1966). It is not only citizens who expect public interested government (Goodsell 2003), so do public managers (Perry 1996; Crewson 1997; Wittmer 1991). Yet, despite the convergence of citizens’ and public...

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6. Toward a Pragmatic Public Interest Theory

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pp. 100-112

Encapsulating the substance of the previous two chapters and the major concerns of this book, we can say that the de facto public interest theory of economic individualism has become dominant in public policy and public management while more conventional public interest theories have not been able to compete, in part because of the apparent fecklessness of rival public...

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7. Values, Value Theory, and Collective Action

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pp. 113-131

Much of the remainder of this book deals with public values—divining sources of public values, identifying problems in the aggregation of public values, comparing public values with economic values, and exploring the correspondence of public values to public interest. However, before we turn to the discussion of public values and public value criteria in chapter...

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8. Public Values

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pp. 132-158

While public interest as ideal provides a good starting point for public affairs deliberation, any move from deliberation to action requires a tangible concept. “Public value” serves well in this capacity. Since its introduction in chapter 1 public value has not received much attention. As used here, “public values” are those providing normative consensus about (a) the...

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9. Public Value Mapping: The Case of Genetically Modified Foods and the “Terminator Gene”

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pp. 159-174

The science and technology of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is an especially compelling context for applying the Public Value Mapping model, in part because the stakes are high, in part because opinions are polarized, and in part because the issues touch on almost all the criteria of the PVM model. Some view GMOs as a means of saving the world from...

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10. Managing Publicness

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pp. 175-186

Whether one embraces the public values model, a pragmatic public interest approach, or some entirely different public values framework, the question remains as to the most useful way to infuse public policy and public management with public values. This chapter presents the concept of “Managing Publicness” as an alternative to public management...


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pp. 187-206


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pp. 207-214

E-ISBN-13: 9781589014015
E-ISBN-10: 1589014014
Print-ISBN-13: 9781589011779
Print-ISBN-10: 1589011775

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2007

Series Title: Public Management and Change series