David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
OUP Oxford (2003)
Can we rely on the altruism of professionals or the public service ethos to deliver good quality health and education services? And how should patients, parents, and pupils behave - as grateful recipients or active consumers? This book provides new answers to these questions - a milestone in the analysis and development of public policy, from one of the leading thinkers in the field. It provides a new perspective on policy design, emphasising the importance of analysing the motivation of professionals and others who work within the public sector, and both their and public service beneficiaries' capacity for agency or independent action. It argues that the conventional assumption that public sector professionals are public-spirited altruists or 'knights' is misplaced; but so is the alternative that they are all, in David Hume's terminology, 'knaves' or self-interested egoists. We also must not assume that individual citizens are passive recipients of public services (pawns); but nor can they be untrammelled sovereigns with unrestricted choices over services and resources (queens). Instead, policies must be designed so as to give the proper balance of motivation and agency. The book illustrates how this can be done by detailed empirical examination of recent policies in health services, education, social security and taxation. It puts forwards proposals for policy reform, several of which either originated with the author or with which he has been closely associated: universal capital or 'demogrants', discriminating vouchers, matching grants for pensions and for long-term care, and hypothecated taxes.
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Citations of this work BETA
Stephen Gough (2009). Philosophy of Education and Economics: A Case for Closer Engagement. Journal of Philosophy of Education 43 (2):269-283.
Daniel Halliday (2013). Justice and Taxation. Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1111-1122.
Julie Rayner, Alan Lawton & Helen M. Williams (2012). Organizational Citizenship Behavior and the Public Service Ethos: Whither the Organization? [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 106 (2):117-130.
Stephen Wilmot (2010). Health Professionals: How Much Employee Loyalty Should We Expect in a Privatising System? [REVIEW] Health Care Analysis 18 (1):1-16.
Stephen Gough (2009). Co-Evolution, Knowledge and Education: Adding Value to Learners' Options. Studies in Philosophy and Education 28 (1):27-38.
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