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Public Values and Public Interest: Counterbalancing Economic Individualism (Public Management and Change series) [Paperback]

Barry Bozeman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 24, 2007 1589011775 978-1589011779

Economic individualism and market-based values dominate today's policymaking and public management circles -- often at the expense of the common good. In his new book, Barry Bozeman demonstrates the continuing need for public interest theory in government. Public Values and Public Interest offers a direct theoretical challenge to the "utility of economic individualism," the prevailing political theory in the western world.

The book's arguments are steeped in a practical and practicable theory that advances public interest as a viable and important measure in any analysis of policy or public administration. According to Bozeman, public interest theory offers a dynamic and flexible approach that easily adapts to changing situations and balances today's market-driven attitudes with the concepts of common good advocated by Aristotle, Saint Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, and John Dewey.

In constructing the case for adopting a new governmental paradigm based on what he terms "managing publicness," Bozeman demonstrates why economic indices alone fail to adequately value social choice in many cases. He explores the implications of privatization of a wide array of governmental services -- among them Social Security, defense, prisons, and water supplies. Bozeman constructs analyses from both perspectives in an extended study of genetically modified crops to compare the policy outcomes using different core values and questions the public value of engaging in the practice solely for the sake of cheaper food.

Thoughtful, challenging, and timely, Public Values and Public Interest shows how the quest for fairness can once again play a full part in public policy debates and public administration.

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Public Values and Public Interest: Counterbalancing Economic Individualism (Public Management and Change series) + The Nonprofit Sector: A Research Handbook, Second Edition
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Editorial Reviews


"[P]rovides such a thorough and thoughtful plea for the need of a continuous emphasis on what is public about government conduct and why; it is, as such, the first of its kind." -- Public Administration Review

"Hooray for Barry Bozeman! The case he makes for 'managing publicness' is brilliant and a must-read for everyone interested in advancing the common good in an age of economic individualism.... With this book, Bozeman joins the august ranks of the truly important contemporary moral philosophers." -- John M. Bryson, associate dean for research and centers, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

"Bozeman's analysis merits the attention of any serious scholar or policymaker concerned with the public interest, public goods, public policy, and public management, and with theory and practice pertaining to the roles of the governmental and nongovernmental institutions of a nation." -- Hal G. Rainey, Alumni Foundation Distinguished Professor, School of Public and International Affairs, The University of Georgia

About the Author

Barry Bozeman is the Ander Crenshaw Professor of Public Policy and Regents' Professor of Public Policy at the University of Georgia's School of Public and International Affairs and adjunct honorary professor of political science at the University of Copenhagen. He has served as a consultant to a variety of government agencies and is the author or editor of fifteen books, including Bureaucracy and Red Tape and Limited by Design: R&D Laboratories in the U.S. National Innovation System. He has received numerous awards, including the Charles Levine Award, the James Webb Award, and the Dimock Award.

Product Details

  • Series: Public Management and Change series
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press (October 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589011775
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589011779
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 8.9 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barry Bozeman is Arizona Centennial Professor of Technology and Public Management at Arizona State University. His research and writing focuses on public organization theory, public management and science and technology policy. In 2013, Bozeman won the the Public Management Research Association's Frederickson Award for lifetime contributions to public management.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Approach to Public Values March 3, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bozeman's account of the necessity for taking public values into account is solid and well conceived. He provides clear criteria for determining the publicness of values and offers clear recommendations for how they can be advanced in the public interest. In so doing he offers a counter to the traditional liberal emphasis on individual interests. He reminds us that politics and public policy are about the things that we really care about which cannot be reduced to material interests, such as the common good, sustainability, and human dignity. This emphasis on values could help to focus us on some of the key aspects of our effort to manage the federal deficit in the context of what we value as a society. The one shortcoming is his failure to incorporate the useful insights about values in public policy that have been developed over the years by Frank Fischer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book. December 11, 2013
By Michael
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Awesome book. I use it in the public policy introductory courses I teach. It is easily accessible to undergraduate students.
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