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The Public Use of the Private Sector

  • Bruce L. R. Smith

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Private Sector Political Economy Private Institution Private Interest Formal Government 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    See Bruce L. R. Smith and D. C. Hague, The Dilemma of Accountability in Modern Government: Independence vs. Control ( Macmillan and St Martin’s Press, New York and London, 1971 ).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  3. 2.
    Robert Gilpin, France in the Age of the Scientific State ( Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 1968 ).Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    Hoover Commission, Report on General Management of the Executive Branch 1949, p. 1.Google Scholar
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  6. 4.
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  12. 10.
    See John Rawls, A Theory of justice (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1971), as an example of the changing conceptions of equality and differential rewards as being justified only if leading to greater benefits for society’s disadvantaged: in an earlier day the individual was thought to deserve whatever his efforts would gain and by advancing him or herself the overall interest of society would be advanced. II. See Don K. Price, The Scientific Estate op. cit., ch. 2.Google Scholar
  13. 12.
    Walter Dean Burnham, one of the chief advocates of the erosion-of-theparties thesis, sees a ‘top-bottom’ coalition against the ‘great middle’ as a likely basis for future political battles in the U.S. See his Critical Elections (Norton, New York, 1970 ). This thesis is imaginative and has considerable appeal; its chief difficulty is that it does not conform to the available evidence. Cf. James Sundquist, Dynamics of the Party System ( The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., 1973 ).Google Scholar
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  16. 15.
    From a background paper by John J. Corson prepared for the Anglo-American Conference on Accountability held at Williamsburg, Va., September 1971. See also Corson, Business in the Humane Society ( McGraw-Hill, New York, 1971 ).Google Scholar
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    On the origins of the anti-power attitudes in the U.S., see James S. Young, The Washington Community: 1800–1828 ( Columbia University Press, New York, 1966 ).Google Scholar
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  20. 24.
    Arthur Miller, ‘Accountability and the Federal Contractor,’ Journal of Public Law, Emory University Law School, Vol. 20, No. 2 (1971) pp. 443–478Google Scholar
  21. 31.
    E.g., John Saloma, Congress and the New Politics ( Little Brown and Co., Boston, 1969 ).Google Scholar
  22. 32.
    See, inter alia Raymond H. Dawson, ‘Congressional Innovation and Intervention in Defense Policy: Legislative Authorization of Weapons Systems,’ American Political Science Review Vol. Lv1, No. 1 (Mar 1965) pp. 42–57;Google Scholar
  23. William E. Rhode, Committee Clearance of Administrative Decisions (Michigan State Bureau of Social and Political Research, East Lansing, Michigan, 1959);Google Scholar
  24. and Joseph P. Harris, Congressional Control of Administration (Doubleday and Co., Anchor Books, Garden City, New York, 1965 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Carnegie Corporation of New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce L. R. Smith

There are no affiliations available

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