In the today’s global "commercial society" an inquiry into the economic role of government is gaining momentum. Many crucial goods for the wellbeing of a society are not "commercial", national security and clean air are great examples. This means that the economic role of government is not limited to cure the so called "market failures" but it has to provide for non-commercial goods. Unfortunately in the last few decades the decline of the political-economic culture of western post-industrial societies has left scope for people to blindly believe in a free, deregulated market.
This book brings the culture of the state in from the cold, by confronting readers at the start with the necessity of recognizing the fundamental difference between private commercial interests, whose provision rests on the culture of profit, and public shared interests, whose provision rests on the culture of the state. This book also explores how much individual wellbeing does depend on both.
The only chance for public shared interests, with their non-profit nature, to successfully keep their ground in the face of the overwhelming power of private commercial/financial interests, lies in regenerating a political-economic state culture whereby governments and policy makers/politicians understand their responsibility and social function to consist primarily in pursuing the satisfaction of the formers and not in acting on behalf of the latter.
Part I. Theoretical and policy issues Chapter 1. On the disappearance of the culture of the state from economics and the decline of the political-economic culture of the West Chapter 2. The failures of collective action. A formal game-theoretic revisitation of the Olson theory Chapter 3. Internalizing environmental externalities. From deterministic to stochastic social damage Chapter 4. Environmental protection, climate change, and the Green Paradox. State of the art and open issues Part II. Applications to special areas of environmental policy Chapter 5. Environmental policy making in real life: illegal waste disposal in the presence of organized crime Chapter 6. Water conservation and management: common sense for a common resource? Chapter 7. Technological Lock-In and the shaping of environmental policy Chapter 8. Common land resources and forests. The role of multi-level governance
Laura Castellucci is a Full professor of Economic Policy at University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy
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