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Bozeman challenges the dominance of the concept of economic individualism that drives policymaking and public management today, at the expense of consideration of the common good. Although public interest theory holds a venerable place in the larger tradition of political theory, dating back to Aristotle, since the 1950s it has generally been obscured by an emphasis on quantitative social sciences and an idealization of market values. Seeking to counterbalance both the philosophical and the more practical aspects of economic individualism, Bozeman develops the theories and concepts to show why indices of economic value are inadequate for so many instances of social choice and why public value should serve a larger role as a guide for public management.He argues that a pragmatic approach to public interest theory, an approach based on empiricism and deliberation, is not only satisfactory but likely to lead to useful outcomes. He explores, through the lens of public interest, the policy and management implications of various cases of privatization--Social Security, defense, water supplies, prisons, and local government--and of an extended case about genetically modified crops . Bozeman concludes by offering an alternative theory of public management, managing publicness, that restores the quest for fairness in the pursuit of public values as a starting point.
Public Values and Public Interest: Counterbalancing Economic Individualism
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