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Public Entrepreneurship, Citizenship, and Self-Governance

Book description

In this book Paul Dragos Aligica revisits the theory of political self-governance in the context of recent developments in behavioral economics and political philosophy that have challenged the foundations of this theory. Building on the work of the 'Bloomington School' created by Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom and Public Choice political economy co-founder Vincent Ostrom, Aligica presents a fresh conceptualization of the key processes at the core of democratic-liberal governance systems involving civic competence and public entrepreneurship. The result is not only a re-assessment and re-articulation of the theories constructed by the Bloomington School of Public Choice, but also a new approach to several cutting-edge discussions relevant to governance studies and applied institutional theory, such as the debates generated by the recent waves of populism, paternalism and authoritarianism.


'We are offered the best one-volume analysis of public entrepreneurship, citizenship and self-governance. Drawing on a lifetime of study and reflection on different continents, Paul Dragos Aligica shows how much we gain in governance theory by drawing on the citizen-centered approach that Vincent and Elinor Ostrom developed and practiced over the years. At a time when new forms of tutelage, nativism and paternalism are gained grounds in the world, Aligica draws on the Ostroms to renew and reformulate, in an inspiring way, self-governance as a vision and as a theory that can help to stem the tide of anarchy, statism and despair about the prospect of democracy and the human condition itself. Social science at its best.'

Filippo Sabetti - McGill University, Montreal

'Paul Dragos Aligica’s Public Entrepreneurship, Citizenship, and Self-Governance offers a whole persuasive theory of the social world that challenges the right/left spectrum by starting not with states or markets but with people who work through a range of institutions to shape the world. For those entrepreneurs, this book is full of practical wisdom about how to operate more effectively and wisely.'

Peter Levine - Lincoln Filene Professor, Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University, Massachusetts

'We are beset today by increasing skepticism of the viability and intelligence of democratic self-governance, raising doubts that traditional defenses fail to assuage. In this scholarly and important book, Paul Dragos Aligica shows how the Ostroms’ pathbreaking work points to a reconceptualization of democratic citizenship, tying it to an enlightening idea of problem solving through public entrepreneurs. Aligica articulates a compelling vision of the institutions of a diverse and intelligent open society.'

Gerald Gaus - James. E. Rogers Professor of Philosophy, University of Arizona, Tucson

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