Rethinking public ownership and participation

Cumbers, A. and McMaster, R. (2012) Rethinking public ownership and participation. On the Horizon, 20(3), pp. 172-181. (doi:10.1108/10748121211256775)

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Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to challenge the simplistic formulation of public ownership in terms of centralized planning and state bureaucracy. Instead, drawing on the works of Dewey and Veblen the paper aims to argue that public ownership is a critical aspect of forging progressive change through enhancing democratic participation in economic decision making.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents a conceptual analysis of public ownership types and employs case examples to further illuminate the argument.

Findings – The conceptual analysis challenges the supposition of market superiority in standard economic approaches and in neoliberalism. Drawing from the instrumental valuation principle a wide corpus of public ownership modes can offer the prospect of enhanced democratic participation that challenges existing power structures.

Originality/value – By emphasising the association between ownership and democracy the paper challenges the assumption that markets necessarily offer the only route to democratic participation. It also identifies and challenges the market fundamentalism of standard economic approaches.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cumbers, Professor Andrew and McMaster, Professor Robert
Authors: Cumbers, A., and McMaster, R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Journal Name:On the Horizon
ISSN:1074-8121
Published Online:01 January 2012

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