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p. 1226. Leave it to the Market: Economic Rationalismlocked

p. 1226. Leave it to the Market: Economic Rationalismlocked

  • John S. DryzekJohn S. DryzekProfessor of Political Science and Australian Research Council Federation Fellow, Australian National University


This chapter examines economic rationalism, a discourse of environmental problem solving which builds on its advances in all areas of political life to generate alternatives to and remedies for the pathologies it identifies in both administration and liberal democratic governance. Economic rationalism may be defined by its commitment to the intelligent deployment of market mechanisms to achieve public ends. It differs from administrative rationalism in its hostility to environmental management by government administrators — except in establishing the basic parameters of designed markets. The chapter first considers the issue of privatization and private property rights before discussing less radical strands that stress market incentives but not necessarily private property. It also describes the discourse analysis of economic rationalism and concludes with an assessment of the limitations of economic rationalism, including its treatment of government.

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