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Defining Public Goods
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Defining Public Goods

An Institutional Approach to Community-Building and Negotiating Inter-Community Conflict

9781800885424 Edward Elgar Publishing
David J. O’Brien, Professor Emeritus, Division of Applied Social Sciences, University of Missouri, US
Publication Date: 2021 ISBN: 978 1 80088 542 4 Extent: 176 pp
Through the lens of an economist’s notion of public goods, David J. O’Brien analyzes the dual problems of declining communities and polarizing conflicts between metropolitan and rural communities. The author describes in detail how seemingly intractable community-level problems and inter-community conflicts have been substantially reduced by framing them in terms of the self-interest of a larger polity. O’Brien’s extensive community-level research experience in urban and rural communities that covers multiple historical periods, will appeal to inter-disciplinary social scientists, development specialists and persons looking for a hopeful, practical approach to solving the challenges of globalization.

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Through the lens of an economist’s notion of public goods, David J. O’Brien analyzes the dual problems of declining communities and polarizing conflicts between metropolitan and rural communities. This macro-level institutional approach requires a precise definition of the specific ways in which community-level challenges can negatively affect a larger voting public.

The author describes in detail how seemingly intractable community-level problems and inter-community conflicts have been substantially reduced by framing them in terms of the self-interest of a larger polity. Examples include The Federalist Papers, written in defense of the US Constitution, New Deal institutions created during the Great Depression, the post-World War II European Union, and more recent macro-level institutional changes that are assisting, in varying degrees, rural community sustainability in the US, Kenya, Rwanda and Russia.

O’Brien’s extensive community-level research experience in urban and rural communities that covers multiple historical periods, will appeal to inter-disciplinary social scientists, development specialists and persons looking for a hopeful, practical approach to solving the challenges of globalization.
Contents
Contents: Preface Introduction: globalization and the community challenge 1. Conceptualizing community within the public goods paradigm 2. Sources of resistance to defining community as a larger public goods problem 3. An institutional approach to building sustainable communities 4. Examples of top-down formal institutional adjustments on community sustainability and inter-community conflict 5. Location, informal institutions and social network effects on rural American community responses to globalization 6. Revisiting the quest for community References Index

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