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By David M. Freeman

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Extra info for Choice against choice: constructing a policy-assessing sociology for social development

Sample text

De Tocqueville developed an analysis of the normative tradition of a public household rooted in religion and local civic organizational commitments that constrained private pursuit of self-interest. People required public goods that required local organizations to provide and manage them. Furthermore, people required community protection from damaging spillovers negative externalities in our parlance induced by unbridled seeking of self-interest in markets. Private market exchange was supplemented by local social and political organization that guided markets according to nonmarket values.

Explorers include Robert A. Dahl, in his Dilemmas Of Pluralist Democracy (1982); Amitai Etzioni, in The Moral Dimension: Toward A New Economics (1988); Ralf Dahrendorf, in his Life Chances (1979) and The Modern Social Conflict (1988); John S. Dryzek, in Rational Ecology (1987); Barry Hindess, in his Choice, Rationality and Social Theory (1987); Elise Boulding, in her Building a Global Civic Culture (1988); Nancy L. Schwartz, in The Blue Guitar: Political Representation and Community (1988); William M.

It may well be that some of the analysis will be suggestive for policy assessment in other domains. The argument in Chapter 5 finds that it is possible to construct a policy-assessment language centered on the measurement of specific social structural phenomena. The neglected message of concepts having to do with the breakdown of faith in markets externality, public goods, the tyranny of small decisions, concentrated power, and problematic resource distributions is the primacy of publicly sanctioned social structures within which people make their private and public lives and conduct market exchange.

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