When Strangers Cooperate: Using Social Conventions to Govern Ourselves

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9780029048757: When Strangers Cooperate: Using Social Conventions to Govern Ourselves

Examines unspoken social agreements known as conventions, explaining how they originate, how they are used to solve problems, and how they can be created to address current concerns such as energy consumption, public health, and race relations.

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Brown, a professor for 10 years at the Yale School of Management and former president of Blackburn College, argues that, because interdependence describes modern society better than the individualism and competition of the past or the community and responsibility championed by Etzioni and other communitarians, social conventions offer an alternative to both market-driven competition and government coercion as a productive means of dealing with public problems. Brown explores how conventions arise and change, considers some of the obstacles to their development in a nation where "It's a free country" is a motto, and discusses how telecommunication networks encourage new forms of cooperation between strangers. Brown's final, what-if chapter focuses on two critical current problems--crime and meeting the needs of the nation's children--describing new conventions that communities are developing to take back their streets and help their kids stay alive and learn the skills they need. (In this last area, Brown urges much more collaborative learning in U.S. schools at all levels.) A thoughtful effort to shift the focus of attention (both positive and negative) from government to governance. Mary Carroll

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David Warfield Brown
Published by Free Press (1995)
ISBN 10: 0029048753 ISBN 13: 9780029048757
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David Warfield Brown
Published by Free Press (1995)
ISBN 10: 0029048753 ISBN 13: 9780029048757
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