Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Neo-liberalism and the Public Interest: The Case for Social Democracy
by Strouss, William, D.A., Franklin Pierce University, 2015, 509; 3730765
Abstract (Summary)

Beginning with the notion that the dominant economic ideology in society is in a position to direct and serve the public interest, it is reasonable to ask if the public interest is well served by that ideology. That is the objective of this dissertation. In contemporary America, the dominant economic ideology is neo-liberalism, an evolutionary form of capitalism with its foundation in market fundamentalism, and characterized by an acute focus on profit and material acquisition and minimal involvement of government in the economy. The prefix neo derives from the ostensible return of liberalism to those free market values after a detour in the mid-20th century when it appeared that state intervention in the economy would result in redistributionist social welfare policies.

This dissertation examines the research questions: Does neo-liberalism serve the public interest? If not, what alternatives to neo-liberalism exist that better serve the common good? Answering these questions requires the subject to be parsed into a number of additional questions, each of which is explored in an independent essay. The essays discuss the nature of the public interest and role of self-interest in forming neo-liberal values. In addition, the essays examine the institutional responses to neo-liberalism through business as manifested by the corporate social responsibility movement and through government as manifested by welfare capitalism and, in particular, social democracy.

The conclusion drawn is that neo-liberalism is not conducive to the public interest and that social democracy offers a structure for a more economically efficient and morally just society. Policy prescriptions and arguments favoring social democracy are offered.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Able, Richard
Commitee: Kumar, Sonal, Moore-West, Maggie
School: Franklin Pierce University
Department: Leadership
School Location: United States -- New Hampshire
Source: DAI-A 77/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Economics, Public administration, Public policy
Keywords: Capitalism, Corporate social resposibility, Neo-liberalism, Public interest, Social democracy, Welfare capitalism
Publication Number: 3730765
ISBN: 978-1-339-17086-2
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