The importance of self-interest and public interest in politics


ABSTRACT In its attempt to prove that voters, politicians, and bureaucrats are motivated by the public interest, Self-Interest and Public Interest in Western Politics overlooks a great deal of public-choice research, to which much has been added during the two decades since it was published. The importance of self-interest at both the micro and macro levels of politics becomes clear once one looks not simply at the ?inputs? of a democracy but at its ?outputs? as well. The prevalence of interest groups, the dysfunction of the United States tax code, the lobbying by unions for their members? self-interest, the earmarks in the Patriot Act, the numerous cases of corruption in Western democracies, and the dissatisfaction of citizens with their governments? failings all point to the importance of self-interest in politics.

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References found in this work

Social Choice and Individual Values.Irving M. Copi - 1952 - Science and Society 16 (2):181-181.
Social Choice and Individual Values.Kenneth Joseph Arrow - 1951 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley: New York.
Public Choice Iii.Dennis C. Mueller - 2003 - Cambridge University Press.
Political Argument.W. G. Runciman & Brian Barry - 1967 - Philosophical Quarterly 17 (66):87.

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Citations of this work

Cooperation for the Common Good: Reply to the Symposium.Leif Lewin - 2011 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 23 (3):359-370.

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