Shifting Involvements: Private Interest and Public Action (Twentieth-Anniversary Edition) / Edition 20

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Overview

Why does society oscillate between intense interest in public issues and almost total concentration on private goals? In this classic work, Albert O. Hirschman offers a stimulating social, political, and economic analysis dealing with how and why frustrations of private concerns lead to public involvement and public participation that eventually lead back to those private concerns. Emerging from this study is a wide range of insights, from a critique of conventional consumption theory to a new understanding of collective action and of universal suffrage.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Winner of the Talcott Parsons Prize, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

"Original. . . . Mr. Hirschman, one of our most distinguished economists, is no ordinary writer. . . .even his offhand ruminations have always been interesting. So is this book."—Peter L. Berger, New York Times Book Review

"Shifting Involvements can be read over and over again, with each reading disclosing new subtleties, so cunning is its construction and so original its standpoint."—Michael Banton, Times Literary Supplement

"This interesting essay contains a wealth of ideas. There is a surprising freshness in the treatment of such a well worn topic as the relation between public and private concerns. . . . Intellectually stimulating."—David Berry, Times Higher Education Supplement

"Literate, reflective, and sophisticated. . . . Hirschman's work . . . is proof that an economist with a knowledge of and sensitivity for history will avoid the oversimplifications of economic theorists who see the world and human behavior in one dimension."—Eli Ginzberg, Journal of Economic Literature

New York Times Book Review
Original. . . . Mr. Hirschman, one of our most distinguished economists, is no ordinary writer. . . .even his offhand ruminations have always been interesting. So is this book.
— Peter L. Berger
Times Literary Supplement
Shifting Involvements can be read over and over again, with each reading disclosing new subtleties, so cunning is its construction and so original its standpoint.
— Michael Banton
Journal of Economic Literature
Literate, reflective, and sophisticated. . . . Hirschman's work . . . is proof that an economist with a knowledge of and sensitivity for history will avoid the oversimplifications of economic theorists who see the world and human behavior in one dimension.
— Eli Ginzberg
New York Times Book Review - Peter L. Berger
Original. . . . Mr. Hirschman, one of our most distinguished economists, is no ordinary writer. . . .even his offhand ruminations have always been interesting. So is this book.
Journal of Economic Literature - Eli Ginzberg
Literate, reflective, and sophisticated. . . . Hirschman's work . . . is proof that an economist with a knowledge of and sensitivity for history will avoid the oversimplifications of economic theorists who see the world and human behavior in one dimension.
Times Higher Education Supplement
This interesting essay contains a wealth of ideas. There is a surprising freshness in the treatment of such a well worn topic as the relation between public and private concerns. . . . Intellectually stimulating.
— David Berry
Times Literary Supplement - Michael Banton
Shifting Involvements can be read over and over again, with each reading disclosing new subtleties, so cunning is its construction and so original its standpoint.
Times Higher Education Supplement - David Berry
This interesting essay contains a wealth of ideas. There is a surprising freshness in the treatment of such a well worn topic as the relation between public and private concerns. . . . Intellectually stimulating.
From the Publisher
Winner of the Talcott Parsons Prize, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

"Original. . . . Mr. Hirschman, one of our most distinguished economists, is no ordinary writer. . . .even his offhand ruminations have always been interesting. So is this book."—Peter L. Berger, New York Times Book Review

"Shifting Involvements can be read over and over again, with each reading disclosing new subtleties, so cunning is its construction and so original its standpoint."—Michael Banton, Times Literary Supplement

"This interesting essay contains a wealth of ideas. There is a surprising freshness in the treatment of such a well worn topic as the relation between public and private concerns. . . . Intellectually stimulating."—David Berry, Times Higher Education Supplement

"Literate, reflective, and sophisticated. . . . Hirschmans work . . . is proof that an economist with a knowledge of and sensitivity for history will avoid the oversimplifications of economic theorists who see the world and human behavior in one dimension."—Eli Ginzberg, Journal of Economic Literature

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691092928
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/7/2002
  • Series: Eliot Janeway Lectures on Historical Economics Series
  • Edition description: Anniversar
  • Edition number: 20
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 920,596
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

FOREWORD ix
PREFACE xv
INTRODUCTION: A Private-Public Cycle? 3
Chapter 1. On Disappointment 9
The Role of Disappointment in Preference Change 9
Taking Disappointment Seriously 14
Chapter 2. Varieties of Consumer Disappointment 25
The Privileged Position of Truly Nondurable Goods 27
Consumer Durables 32
Services 39
Chapter 3. The General Hostility Toward New Wealth 46
Historical Evidence from the Eighteenth Century in England and France 46
The Manifold Case against New Goods 53
Chapter 4. From Private Concerns into the Public Arena-I 62
Exit and Voice Reactions to Consumer Disappointment 62
Explaining Changes in Life-Styles: Ideology and Second-Order Volitions 66
Chapter 5. From Private Concerns into the Public Arena-II 77
Collective Action and the Rebound Effect 77
Why Free Rides Are Spurned 82
Chapter 6. The Frustrations of Participation in Public Life-1 92
The Poverty of Our Imagination 93
Overcommitment and Addiction 96
Chapter 7. The Frustrations of Participation in Public Life-II 103
The Underinvolvement of Voting 103
A Historical Digression on the Origins of Universal Suffrage 112
Chapter 8. Privatization 121
Corruption 123
Public Virtue Debunked 125
Attractions of the Private Sphere 128
CONCLUSION 131
INDEX 135

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