Self-Interest and Public Interest in Western Politics

Overview

Is it self-interest or public interest that dominates Western politics? In this book, which combines in a novel way insights from different fields, including rational choice theory, political philosophy, and electoral research, Leif Lewin examines more than two- hundred studies of democracy in action from seventeen countries. He looks at the behavior and attitudes of voters, bureaucrats, and politicians, in turn, and shows that the plausible and prevalent theory that egoism rules simply doesn't match the facts. ...

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Self-Interest and Public Interest in Western Politics

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Overview

Is it self-interest or public interest that dominates Western politics? In this book, which combines in a novel way insights from different fields, including rational choice theory, political philosophy, and electoral research, Leif Lewin examines more than two- hundred studies of democracy in action from seventeen countries. He looks at the behavior and attitudes of voters, bureaucrats, and politicians, in turn, and shows that the plausible and prevalent theory that egoism rules simply doesn't match the facts. This intriguing study will be of special interest to students of comparative politics , West European politics, political science, and economics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The strengths of this fine, concise book are the diversity of areas covered and the author's awareness of the North American, European, and Japanese literatures on all of these topics. I would strongly recommend it to the participants in any of these debates. As a scientist, I appreciate Lewin's insistence on evidence as he attempts to adjudicate between the advocates of the self-interested and public-interested views."—Comparative Politics
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198277255
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/30/1991
  • Series: Comparative Politics Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Self-Interest and Public Interest 1
2. Does the Voter Follow His Pocket-Book? 29
3. Are Politicians Vote-Maximizers? 60
4. Are Bureaucrats Budget-Maximizers? 75
5. Individual and Collective Rationality 98
Notes 113
Bibliography 129
Index 141
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