To dismiss the work of philosophers and theologians of the past because of their limited perceptions of the whole of humankind is tantamount to tossing the tot out with the tub water. Such is the case when feminist scholars of religion and ethics confront Thomas Aquinas, whose views of women can only be described as misogynistic. Rather than dispense with him, Susanne DeCrane seeks to engage Aquinas and reflect his otherwise compelling thought through the prism of feminist theology, hermeneutics, and ethics.
Focusing on one of Aquinas's great intellectual contributions, the fundamental notion of "the common good"—in short, the human will toward peace and justice—DeCrane demonstrates the currency of that notion through a contemporary social issue: women's health care in the United States and, specifically, black women and breast cancer. In her skillful re-engagement with Aquinas, DeCrane shows that certain aspects of religious traditions heretofore understood as oppressive to women and minority groups can actually be parsed, "retrieved," and used to rectify social ills.
Aquinas, Feminism, and the Common Good is a bold and intellectually rigorous feminist retrieval of an important text by a Catholic scholar seeking to remain in the tradition, while demanding that the tradition live up to its emphasis on human equity and justice.
Edited by Jane J. Mansbridge University of Chicago Press, 1990 Library of Congress JC328.2.B47 1990 | Dewey Decimal 320.011
A dramatic transformation has begun in the way scholars think about human nature. Political scientists, psychologists, economists, and evolutionary biologists are beginning to reject the view that human affairs are shaped almost exclusively by self-interest—a view that came to dominate social science in the last three decades.
In Beyond Self-Interest, leading social scientists argue for a view of individuals behavior and social organization that takes into account the powerful motivations of duty, love, and malevolence. Economists who go beyond "economic man," psychologists who go beyond stimulus-response, evolutionary biologists who go beyond the "selfish gene," and political scientists who go beyond the quest for power come together in this provocative and important manifesto.
The essays trace, from the ancient Greeks to the present, the use of self-interest to explain political life. They investigate the differences between self-interest and the motivations of duty and love, showing how these motivations affect behavior in "prisoners' dilemma" interactions. They generate evolutionary models that explain how altruistic motivations escape extinction.
They suggest ways to model within one individual the separate motivations of public spirit and self-interest, investigate public spirit and self-interest, investigate public spirit in citizen and legislative behavior, and demonstrate that the view of democracy in existing Constitutional interpretations is not based on self-interest. They advance both human evil and mothering as alternatives to self-interest, this last in a penetrating feminist critique of the "contract" model of human interaction.
Among the greatest challenges facing humanity in the twenty-first century is that of sustaining a healthy civil society, which depends upon managing the tension between individual and collective interests. Bruce R. Sievers explores this issue by investigating ways to balance the public and private sides of modern life in a manner that allows realization of the ideal of individual freedom and, at the same time, makes possible the effective pursuit of the common good. He traces the development of civil society from the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic and the eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment, analyzes its legacy for modern political life, and explores how historical trends in the formation of civil society and philanthropy aid or impede our achievement of public goods in the modern era.
Social commentator and preeminent Western historian Bernard DeVoto vigorously defended public lands in the West against commercial interests. At his death in 1955, DeVoto had won both the Pulitzer and Bancroft prizes. But he was most famous for his eloquent writing that advocated conservation of America's prairies, rangeland, forests, mountains, canyons, and deserts.DeVoto's West: Essays on History, Conservation, and the Public Good showcases the complexity, depth, and breadth of DeVoto's thinking. Editor Edward K. Muller introduces these twenty-two essays (many of which originally appeared in Harper's renowned column The Easy Chair) that passionately and coherently advocate federal control for vast tracts of public land. DeVoto addressed many issues, including the plundering of resources by absentee eastern corporations, Westerners' conflicted relationship to exploitation, and the degradation of the national parks. He believed that conservation of natural resources in the West required government control of public lands against livestock associations, timber interests, and their congressional allies who plotted the privatization of the national forests and the extraction of resources in the national parks.DeVoto's West collects the best of DeVoto's conservation pieces for the first time. It will introduce a new generation to prose that has retained its relevance and remains a remarkably current and timely argument for protecting public lands. Bernard DeVoto was born in Ogden, Utah, in 1897. He spent his adult life in the East, first teaching English at Northwestern University, Chicago, then living in New York, and finally settling in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the subject of an acclaimed biography, The Uneasy Chair, by Wallace Stegner.
Global challenges such as poverty, climate change, and economic crises are all problems that the global community must face collectively. But in order to do so successfully, we need to engage in a continued intercultural dialogue on alternative approaches to development that are ethically justifiable, politically acceptable, and ecologically sustainable. To this end, the Institute for Social and Development Studies at the Munich School of Philosophy in cooperation with MISEREOR, the German Catholic Bishops’ Organization for Development Cooperation, invited scholars from across the world to define and explore an overarching goal: the global common good. This book represents the product of their efforts; in it, contributors investigate normative ideals, analyze obstacles that prevent the realization of these ideals, and propose paths for global transformation.
Is private ownership an inviolate right that individuals can wield as they see fit? Or is it better understood in more collective terms, as an institution that communities reshape over time to promote evolving goals? What should it mean to be a private landowner in an age of sprawling growth and declining biological diversity?
These provocative questions lie at the heart of this perceptive and wide-ranging new book by legal scholar and conservationist Eric Freyfogle. Bringing together insights from history, law, philosophy, and ecology, Freyfogle undertakes a fascinating inquiry into the ownership of nature, leading us behind publicized and contentious disputes over open-space regulation, wetlands protection, and wildlife habitat to reveal the foundations of and changing ideas about private ownership in America.
Drawing upon ideas from Thomas Jefferson, Henry George, and Aldo Leopold and interweaving engaging accounts of actual disputes over land-use issues, Freyfogle develops a powerful vision of what private ownership in America could mean—an ownership system, fair to owners and taxpayers alike, that fosters healthy land and healthy economies.
In The New Constitutionalism, seven distinguished scholars develop an innovative perspective on the power of institutions to shape politics and political life.
Believing that constitutionalism needs to go beyond the classical goal of limiting the arbitrary exercise of political power, the contributors argue that it should—and can—be designed to achieve economic efficiency, informed democratic control, and other valued political ends. More broadly, they believe that political and social theory needs to turn away from the negativism of critical theory to consider how a good society should be "constituted" and to direct the work of designing institutions that can constitute a "good polity," in both the economic and civic senses.
Stephen L. Elkin and Karol Edward Soltan begin with an overview of constitutionalist theory and a discussion of the new constitutionalism within the broader intellectual and historical context of political and social thought. Charles Anderson, James Ceaser, and the editors then offer different interpretations of the central issues regarding institutional design in a constitutionalist social science, consider various ways of performing the task, and discuss the inadequacy of recent political science to the job it ought to be doing. The book concludes with essays by Ted Lowi, Cass Sunstein and Edwin Haefele which apply these themes to the American regime.
The Great Recession not only shook Americans’ economic faith but also prompted powerful critiques of economic institutions. This timely book explores three movements that gathered force after 2008: the rise of the benefit corporation, which requires social responsibility and eschews share price as the best metric for success; the emergence of a new group, Slow Money, that fosters peer-to-peer investing; and the 2011 Wisconsin protests against a bill restricting the union rights of state workers.
Each case shows how the concrete actions of a group of citizens can prompt us to reflect on what is needed for a just and sustainable economic system. In one case, activists raised questions about the responsibilities of business, in the second about the significance of local economies, and in the third about the contributions of the public sector. Through these movements, Jane L. Collins maps a set of cultural conversations about the types of investments and activities that contribute to the health of the economy. Compelling and persuasive, The Politics of Value offers a new framework for viewing economic value, one grounded in thoughtful assessment of the social division of labor and the relationship of the state and the market to civil society.
Public Value and Public Administration
John M. Bryson, Barbara Crosby, and Laura Bloomberg, Editors Georgetown University Press, 2015 Library of Congress JF1351.P858 2015 | Dewey Decimal 351
"This book is a refreshing, contemporary look at the public value movement in public administration. It features contributions from some of the most prominent scholars in the field. One of the distinctive qualities of this book is that the authors advance a host of definitions of public value and illustrate different approaches to measurement and ultimately, to 'valuing' public value. As an emergent field, this book will appeal to scholars and students in a host of areas including public management, performance measurement and management, program evaluation, strategic planning, and policy analysis." -- Norma Riccucci, Graduate Department of Public Administration, Rutgers University, Newark
"In this remarkable book, the editors have pulled together a broad and fascinating collection of essays on a critically important issue: linking the administration of public programs with the public values they bring to life. The book is, at once, deeply embedded in rich tradition that stretches back for generations -- and full of fresh, innovative insights into how the administrative process defines and advances the common wealth. Bryson, Crosby, and Bloomberg have gathered some of the very best minds in the field into this book's chapters and, in a masterly way, they have brought together very different streams of thought into a fresh, forward-looking approach sure to be of keen interest to practitioners and scholars alike." -- Donald Kettl, professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland
"Public value has been a major theme in public administration for over twenty years. In this edited collection a group of top scholars in the field use the public value lens to examine how it can be used to help managers focus on public value and then on how to measure it." -- H. Brinton Milward, Providence Service Corporation Chair in Public Management, Director, School of Government and Public Policy
Economic individualism and market-based values dominate today's policymaking and public management circles—often at the expense of the common good. In his new book, Barry Bozeman demonstrates the continuing need for public interest theory in government. Public Values and Public Interest offers a direct theoretical challenge to the "utility of economic individualism," the prevailing political theory in the western world.
The book's arguments are steeped in a practical and practicable theory that advances public interest as a viable and important measure in any analysis of policy or public administration. According to Bozeman, public interest theory offers a dynamic and flexible approach that easily adapts to changing situations and balances today's market-driven attitudes with the concepts of common good advocated by Aristotle, Saint Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, and John Dewey.
In constructing the case for adopting a new governmental paradigm based on what he terms "managing publicness," Bozeman demonstrates why economic indices alone fail to adequately value social choice in many cases. He explores the implications of privatization of a wide array of governmental services—among them Social Security, defense, prisons, and water supplies. Bozeman constructs analyses from both perspectives in an extended study of genetically modified crops to compare the policy outcomes using different core values and questions the public value of engaging in the practice solely for the sake of cheaper food.
Thoughtful, challenging, and timely, Public Values and Public Interest shows how the quest for fairness can once again play a full part in public policy debates and public administration.
James Madison is the thinker most responsible for laying the groundwork of the American commercial republic. But he did not anticipate that the propertied class on which he relied would become extraordinarily politically powerful at the same time as its interests narrowed. This and other flaws, argues Stephen L. Elkin, have undermined the delicately balanced system he constructed. In Reconstructing the Commercial Republic, Elkin critiques the Madisonian system, revealing which of its aspects have withstood the test of time and which have not.
The deficiencies Elkin points out provide the starting point for his own constitutional theory of the republic—a theory that, unlike Madison’s, lays out a substantive conception of the public interest that emphasizes the power of institutions to shape our political, economic, and civic lives. Elkin argues that his theory should guide us toward building a commercial republic that is rooted in a politics of the public interest and the self-interest of the middle class. He then recommends specific reforms to create this kind of republic, asserting that Americans today can still have the lives a commercial republic is intended to promote: lives with real opportunities for economic prosperity, republican political self-government, and individual liberty.
Since the end of World War II, runaway fears of Soviet imperialism, global terrorism, and anarchy have tended to drive American foreign policy toward an imperial agenda. At the same time, uncurbed appetites have wasted the environment and driven the country's market economy into the ditch. How can we best sustain our identity as a people and resist the distortions of our current anxieties and appetites?
Ethicist William F. May draws on America's religious and political history and examines two concepts at play in the founding of the country -- contractual and covenantal. He contends that the biblical idea of a covenant offers a more promising way than the language of contract, grounded in self-interest alone, to contain our runaway anxieties and appetites. A covenantal sensibility affirms, "We the people (not simply, We the individuals, or We the interest groups) of the United States." It presupposes a history of mutual giving and receiving and of bearing with one another that undergirds all the traffic in buying and selling, arguing and negotiating, that obtain in the rough terrain of politics. May closes with an account of the covenantal agenda ahead, and concludes with the vexing issue of immigrants and undocumented workers that has singularly tested the covenant of this immigrant nation.
Before the Second Vatican Council, America’s Catholics operated largely as a coherent voting bloc, usually in connection with the Democratic Party. Their episcopal leaders generally spoke for Catholics in political matters; at least, where America’s bishops asserted themselves in public affairs there was little audible dissent from the faithful.
More than occasionally, the immigrant Church’s eagerness to demonstrate its patriotic bona fides furthered its tendency to speak with one voice about national matters, and in line with the broader societal consensus. And, notwithstanding the considerable conflict which Catholics encountered, and generated, in American political life, there was before the Council broad agreement in American culture about the centrality of Biblical morality to the success of Americans’ experiment with republican government.
In other words: before the Council, American Catholics’ relationship to the political common good was mediated, somewhat uncritical, and insulated from conflict (both within and without the Church) over such fundamental matters as protection of innocent life, marriage and family life, and (to a lesser extent) religious liberty.
This has all changed since the mid-1960s. For the first time in the Church’s pilgrimage on these shores, controversial questions about the basic moral requirements of the political common good are front and center for America’s Catholics. These questions require Catholics to confront matters which heretofore they either took for granted, read off from the background culture, or which they left to the bishops to handle. But the Council Fathers rightly recognized that Jesus calls upon a formed and informed laity to act as leaven in the public realm, to bring Gospel values to the temporal sphere. In this book of essays touching upon Catholic social doctrine, the truth about human equality and political liberty, and religious faith as it bears upon public life and the public engagement of lay Catholics, Gerard Bradley supplies indispensable aid to those seeking to answer Jesus’ call.
James Hankins challenges the view that the Renaissance was the seedbed of modern republicanism, with Machiavelli as exemplary thinker. What most concerned Renaissance political theorists, Hankins contends, was not reforming laws but shaping citizens. To secure the social good, they fostered virtue through a new program of education: the humanities.
Rocco C. Siciliano broke new ground as the first Italian-American to serve in the White House as an assistant to the president, Dwight D. Eisenhower. At 31, "Ike’s Youngest" attained a prominence not suggested in his humble beginnings in Salt Lake City, Utah. But his upbringing in the Mormon-dominated community, where he balanced the heritage of his striving immigrant parents with his own aspirations for success, prepared him for a wide variety of service. This service includes leading a special weapons platoon in the 10th Mountain Division in World War II, bringing Martin Luther King Jr. to meet with President Eisenhower, and becoming a recognized business leader in California.
Siciliano used his expertise in labor, personnel management, and business to contribute substantively to the J. Paul Getty Center, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, the Committee for Economic Development, and the "Volcker" Commission on Public Service, among others.
The variety of Siciliano’s experiences reinvigorates our understanding of the forgotten art of public service. Walking on Sand emphasizes the role that public service can play for corporations, communities, states, and the nation. This story is a gift from the Greatest Generation to the many people who serve America today and will serve her tomorrow.