Public Policymaking by Private Organizations: Challenges to Democratic Governance

Brookings Institution Press
Free sample

How private groups increasingly set public policy and regulate lives—with little public knowledge or attention.

From accrediting doctors and lawyers to setting industry and professional standards, private groups establish many of the public policies in today’s advanced societies. Yet this important role of nongovernmental groups is largely ignored by those who study, teach, or report on public policy issues. Public Policymaking by Private Organizations sheds light on policymaking by private groups, which are not accountable to the general public or, often, even to governments.

This book brings to life the hidden world of policymaking by providing an overview of this phenomenon and in-depth case studies in the areas of finance, food safety, and certain professions. Far from being merely self regulation or self-governance, policymaking by private groups, for good or ill, can have a substantial impact on the broader public—from ensuring the safety of our home electrical appliances to vetting the credit-worthiness of complex financial instruments in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

From nonprofit associations to multinational corporations, private policymaking groups are everywhere. They certify professionals as competent, establish industry regulations, and set technical and professional standards. But because their operations lack the transparency and accountability required of governmental bodies, these organizations comprise a policymaking territory that is largely unseen, unreported, uncharted, and not easily reconciled with democratic principles. Anyone concerned about how policies are made—and who makes them—should read this book.
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About the author

Catherine E. Rudder, professor emerita, joined George Mason University’s School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs after having served as executive director of the American Political Science Association for fourteen years. She is coauthor, with A. Lee Fritschler, of Smoking and Politics: Bureaucracy Centered Policymaking, sixth edition.

A. Lee Fritschler is professor emeritus in the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University. He specializes in regulatory and higher education policy. He was assistant secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education, president of Dickinson College, chair of the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission, and vice president of Brookings. Fritschler is coauthor, with Catherine E. Rudder, of Smoking and Politics: Bureaucracy Centered Policymaking, sixth edition.

Yon Jung Choi is a Ph.D. candidate and holds a masters degree in public policy from the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University, focusing on her research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and global governance.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Jul 12, 2016
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9780815728993
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / American Government / General
Political Science / Intergovernmental Organizations
Political Science / Political Process / Political Advocacy
Political Science / Public Policy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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