The Cult of Efficiency
ISBN 13: 9780887846786
Publisher: House of Anansi Pr
Publication Date: 2003
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This thought-provoking discourse on the unquestioned pursuit of "efficiency" reveals how the discussion of efficiency in the delivery of public goods, such as education and health care, has risen to prominence in postindustrial society. Stein's provocative argument, reminiscent of the thinking of Lewis Mumford, demonstrates that efficiency can too often be a cloak for political agendas, and that pressure for efficiency can actually be a detrimental rather than a positive force. Citizens in public schools, community clinics, and hospitals are shown engaging directly with such agendas, redrawing the face of the state as they impose new ways of delivering public goods. Stein demonstrates how they are calling not only for efficiency but for accountability and choice as they confront the dilemmas of democratic processes in a global age.
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Book Description: House of Anansi Pr, Toronto, 2003. Soft Cover. Book Condition: New. 1st Can Ed. Based on the 2001 Massey Lectures broadcast in Nov. 2002 as part of the CBC Radio 'IDEAS". series. " We live in an age dominated by the cult of efficiency. Efficiency in the raging debate about public goods is often used as a code word to advance political agendas. When it is used correctly, efficiency is important-it must always be part of the conversation when resources are scarce and citizens and governments have important choices to make among competing priorities. Even when the language of efficiency is used carefully, that language alone is not enough. Unilingualism will not do. We need to go beyond the cult of efficiency to talk about accountability. Much of the democratic debate of the next decade will turn on how accountability becomes part of our public conversation and whether it is imposed or negotiated. Janice Gross Stein draws on public education and universal health care, locally and globally, as flashpoints in the debate about their efficiency. She argues that what will define the quality of education from Ontario to India and the quality of health care from China to Alberta is whether citizens and governments can negotiate new standards of accountability. The cult of efficiency will not take us far enough." 307p. Bookseller Inventory # 23807
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Book Description: Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Perfect Condition. May Ship From Our Fulfillment Centers in North America, Europe, or Asia, Allow Maximum Delivery Time. Bookseller Inventory # ISBN0887846785
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