Self-interest and public interest: The motivations of political actors


Journal Article

Self-Interest and Public Interest in Western Politics showed that the public, politicians, and bureaucrats are often public spirited. But this does not invalidate public-choice theory. Public-choice theory is an ideal type, not a claim that self-interest explains all political behavior. Instead, public-choice theory is useful in creating rules and institutions that guard against the worst case, which would be universal self-interestedness in politics. In contrast, the public-interest hypothesis is neither a comprehensive explanation of political behavior nor a sound basis for institutional design. © 2011 Copyright Critical Review Foundation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Munger, MC

Published Date

  • September 1, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 339 - 357

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0891-3811

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/08913811.2011.635871

Citation Source

  • Scopus