Government and the Environment
The Role of the Modern State in the Face of Global Challenges
Edited by Laura Castellucci
Routledge – 2013 – 184 pages
In today's global 'commercial society' an inquiry into the economic role of government is gaining momentum. Many crucial goods for the well-being of a society are not 'commercial': national security and clean air are good examples. This means that the economic role of government is not limited to cure so-called 'market failures' but it has to provide for non-commercial goods. Unfortunately in the last few decades the decline of the political-economic culture of Western post-industrial societies has left scope for people to blindly believe in a free, deregulated market.
This book brings the culture of the state in from the cold, by confronting readers at the start with the necessity of recognizing the fundamental difference between private commercial interests, whose provision rests on the culture of profit, and public shared interests, whose provision rests on the culture of the state. This book also explores how much individual well-being depends on both.
The only chance for public shared interests, with their non-profit nature, to successfully keep their ground in the face of the overwhelming power of private commercial/financial interests, lies in regenerating a political-economic state culture whereby governments and policy-makers/politicians understand their responsibility and social function to consist primarily in pursuing the satisfaction of the former and not in acting on behalf of the latter.
1. Wealth Creation, Private vs. Public, and the Logic of Collective Action 2. Mancur Olson’s Model of Rent Seeking 3. Environmental Public Goods and Externalities 4. Environmental Protection and the Green Paradox 5. Waste Policy in the Presence of Costly Enforcement, Illegal Behaviour and Organized Crime 6. Water Conservation and Management
Laura Castellucci is a Full professor of Economic Policy at University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy