Public Values and Public Interest: Counterbalancing Economic Individualism is one of a kind academic masterpiece by Barry Bozeman which provides a profound and compelling understanding of what comprises public values, public interest, public goods, the public domain, and clarifies with thoughtful examples, on ways of handling the public interest with a term he coined”handling publicness”.
The debate that Bozeman assembles is that everyone’s voice can and must be heard in determining the public interest. Rightfully so, he proceeds to describe the expression in detail. “A perfect public attention identifies those out-comes best serving the long-term survival and well-being of a social collective construed as a”public”. This book was put together with many real-life analogies for assisting students, and anyone for that matter, (especially the ones that represent the general public in public administration, and several other political positions) in the pursuit of creating public policies that aren’t overwhelmingly based off economics, but instead what Bozeman has termed”public values”.
Bozeman goes on to say that public values are the normative consensus of rights, benefits, and prerogatives where taxpayers should be entitled to, and these public value principles must orchestrate the direction in which public policies are made. Bozeman provides the genesis of the public interest concept beginning with the philosophical thoughts of Aristotle but does not stop there. Thomas Aquinas, and John Locke, as making donations in public interest concept as far back as the first millennium.
Moreover, Bozeman indicates that public interest theory is stagnant, as a course of study, in modern times, because economic research (that are quantitative and behavior-based) matches better with the With more of the markets of the world is based on economic individualism, everybody has the opportunity to accumulate wealth. In summary, economic individualism could be moving in the opposite direction of the public interest concept.
In spite of public agencies outsourcing responsibilities to private companies, there could be a reason for society to focus on public interest concept again because private companies have the chance of”muting” the public and taking over the public interest. Bozeman lays out the idea of”publicness” as being a method to define a private company or even a public agency, rather than defining each by its particular economic sector. In Bozeman’s language, publicness denotes the degree a company or agency is constrained by political authority, while”privateness” refers to the management market forces have on the agency or private company.
As a result of the privatization that has happened recently, New Public Management (NPM) has become a significant method of allowing market forces to help handle the public interest. Bozeman points out that the history of NPM and the way NPM utilizes lots of the practices that private enterprises use to lower prices, such as lean accounting, and contracting out job functions, that otherwise would be uneconomical for the parent agency to maintain.
Bozeman says the approaches of how the public interest concept ought to be studied in the center section of the publication. Bozeman dubs these approaches as a normative, procedure, and consensual. Normative being the common denominator of the varying public attention. The process view is made up of 3 parts, in it is procedural, aggregate, or forms due to competition among changing interests. The latter strategy, consensual, is the most democratic of all of the approaches.
Interestingly, Bozeman makes it clear that public interest theory can work together with economical approaches since there are meeting points between the two. By way of instance, both want to maximize value for their shareholders or taxpayers. However, the ambiguity of public interest theory makes it inferior to the concrete proof that economic analysis generates. Bozeman has arranged the book to provide the essentials of the public interest concept, then follows with a discussion between public interest theory and market concept, and finally closes the book with a helpful concept he created called the Public Value Mapping Model (PVM).
This model is merely a tool that can be utilized together with economic evaluation in determining the public price. The PVM is in grid type with four quadrants for putting different public worth. The model shows four important traits of private and public policies. PVM shows if these policies are weak or strong in relation to Public Failure, Public Success, Market Failure, and Market Success. Bozeman beautifully closes Public Values and Public Interest: Counterbalancing Economic Individualism with the real-life examples of using the contentious and possibly insecure instance of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and in particular, genetically modified seeds that produce a lot of the planet’s food supply.
He reveals how public concern, and probably company issues, has led to the development of GURT, aka, the terminator gene. The grid reveals there’s room for advancement for GURT, in relation to it being a market failure and a general success. Public Values and Public Interest: Counterbalancing Economic Individualism is filled with important definitions, illustrations, public attention approaches, public management practices (NPM and outsourcing of public services), and even an extremely Bozeman doesn’t seem to be politically biased in any way; on the contrary, he really shows throughout the book the value of using market forces to handle the public interest. Obviously, that’s why the subtitle is named Counterbalancing Economic Individualism. Bozeman simply implies that Economic Individualism could be detrimental in the pursuit of providing the best benefits for the general public. But he does not take the stance that Economic Individualism is detrimental to our society.