The Public Use of the Private Sector

  • Bruce L. R. Smith


The sharing of authority with private and quasi-private institutions is a central feature of modern government. Novel administrative arrangements have emerged which present intricate new problems for the public and for the private sectors. Indeed, the intermingling of functions, the relationships of financial dependence on the government, and the interpretation of highly skilled manpower cadres have obliterated many of the traditional ‘public-private’ distinctions. A new type of public sector has emerged, drawing heavily on the energies of society outside of the formal government.1 This development is paralleled by the transformation of parts of the private sector into something more ‘public’ in character. These developments have stirred wide criticism—both from those who fear ‘creeping nationalization’ and the aggrandizement of public power and from those who are afraid that government will be dominated by private interests. The papers in this volume analyze various aspects of this ‘new’ political economy and especially seek to clarify the broad public policy issues resulting from the new developments. The aim of the introductory chapter is to provide the context so that the reader can see more easily the connecting threads among the several chapters.


Private Sector Political Economy Private Institution Private Interest Formal Government 
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Copyright information

© Carnegie Corporation of New York 1975

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  • Bruce L. R. Smith

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