Associative Democracy: New Forms of Economic and Social Governance

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9780870238963: Associative Democracy: New Forms of Economic and Social Governance
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At the end of the twentieth century, if becomes ever more clear that Western countries are witnessing the exhaustion of the two great political and economic systems - democratic capitalism and collective state socialism - that have held sway for the past 150 years. Yet neither the traditional Right nor Left has been able to provide viable solutions to this crisis. In this book, Paul Hirst offers a new approach, which he calls associative democracy.
Not simply a utopian idea, associative democracy calls for new forms of economic and social governance as supplements to representative democracy and market economies. It addresses the problems of the overload of big government by democratizing and empowering civil society. It transfers social provision to self-governing voluntary associations, while retaining public funding and political accountability. In the economic sphere, it advocates regional economic regulation through public-private partnerships, the promotion of self-governing industrial districts, and the democratization of the company.

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Western societies are suffering from a multi-faceted political and economic crisis to which traditional ideologies of the Left and Right no longer offer viable solutions.

This book advocates as an alternative 'associative democracy'. Far from being a utopian idea, it offers new forms of economic and social governance as supplements to representative democracy and market economies. Associative democracy addresses the problems of the overload of big government by democratizing and empowering civil society. It transfers social provision to self-governing voluntary associations, whilst retaining public funding and political accountability. It 'publicises' civil society, placing political responsibility and governmental tasks in the hands of citizens. Accountable government becomes possible because service performance and public control are separated. In the economic sphere it advocates regional economic regulation through public-private partnerships, the promotion of self-governing industrial districts, and the democratization of the firm.

In this way, Hirst argues, public regulation can be made less remote, promoting the growth of relationships based on co-operation and trust and, therefore, ensuring those flows of information and commitment on the part of actors necessary to the pursuit of "quality" in market economies.

This book is highly distinctive in the way it combines political theory with social analysis and political advocacy. It forms an outstanding contribution to contemporary political discussion.

About the Author:

Paul Hirst is professor of social theory at Birkbeck College, University of London.

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9780870238970: Associative Democracy: New Forms of Economic and Social Governance

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ISBN 10:  0870238973 ISBN 13:  9780870238970
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press, 1994
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9780745609522: Associative Democracy: New Forms of Economic and Social Governance

Polity..., 1993
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Hirst, Paul
Published by The University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst (1994)
ISBN 10: 0870238965 ISBN 13: 9780870238963
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Book Description The University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1994. Hard Cover. Condition: Good. No Jacket. 1st Edition. 222pp. Normal library markings Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Ex-Library. Seller Inventory # 121983416-12

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