Self-interest and public interest: The motivations of political actors

Critical Review 23 (3):339-357 (2011)
ABSTRACT Self-Interest and Public Interest in Western Politics showed that the public, politicians, and bureaucrats are often public spirited. But this does not invalidate public-choice theory. Public-choice theory is an ideal type, not a claim that self-interest explains all political behavior. Instead, public-choice theory is useful in creating rules and institutions that guard against the worst case, which would be universal self-interestedness in politics. In contrast, the public-interest hypothesis is neither a comprehensive explanation of political behavior nor a sound basis for institutional design.
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DOI 10.1080/08913811.2011.635871
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