explore the concept of public interest. Despite its ambiguity attempting to define public interest goes beyond an academic pursuit

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explore the concept of public interest. Despite its ambiguity attempting to define public interest goes beyond an academic pursuit

Describe the conceptual differences of public interest within the normative model the abolitionist view the political process theory and through a lens of shared values.

 

Seek the Public Interest

In chapter 4 Denhardt & Denhardt explore the concept of public interest. Despite its ambiguity attempting to define public interest goes beyond an academic pursuit: how we think about it defines how we act.

From the roots of how public administration was founded in the United States to its conceptual evolution over time the meaning of public service and how it is reflected within our representative democracy is still controversial. Still it is seen as central to democratic governance and one of the cornerstones of New Public Service.

Deborah Stone’s chapter 1 from her book Policy Paradox gives us another model one of political society. Her approach to understand political society is to contrast it with the market model a dominant model within policy discussions and one in which NPM is firmly grounded.

As we continue to unravel the tension that sets the context (Week one) which of the two models is society using as a source of energy – the market or polis? What are the consequences?

There is not a “right” or “wrong” model but the models we use have consequences.

The model we choose becomes the framework for how we see both the problem and its solutions. Stone reminds us that there are democratic values present in the polis model that are not conceptualized in the same way in the market model.

Finally the short video on Deliberative Polling (Deliberative Process gives us an inspiring example of why deliberation is an experiment in democracy.

In this example participants willingly put their opinions and ideas at risk by sharing their opinions discussing the values they hold and listening to each other. This example fits into the model of NPS.

Objectives

After completing this week’s readings activities and assignments you should be able to:

⦁ Describe the conceptual differences of public interest within the normative model the abolitionist view the political process theory and through a lens of shared values.

⦁ Contextualize the evolution of the views of public interest and Identify how they fit into the dominant themes associated with OPA NPM and NPS