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Encyclopedia > Public interest

Public interest is a term used to denote political movements and organizations that are in the public interest—supporting general public and civic causes, in opposition of private and corporate ones (particularistic goals). The public interest can also mean more generally what is considered beneficial to the public.


It is often very difficult

  • To specify exactly what is meant by the "public interest," especially since "special interests" themselves so often speak in favor of their goals using the language of the public interest.
  • To foretell that a pet cause promoted by a given organization or movement would be beneficial to the public or would bring perverse effects instead.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Public interest - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (393 words)
The public interest refers to the "common well-being" or "general welfare." The public interest is central to policy debates, politics, democracy and the nature of government itself.
The public interest is often contrasted with the private or individual interest, under the assumption that what is good for society may not be good for a given individual and vice versa.
There is wide-ranging debate about whether the public interest requires or destroys the idea of human rights, about the degree to which the ends of society are the ends of its individual members, and the degree to which people should be able to fulfill their own ambitions even against the public interest.
Public choice theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (949 words)
Public choice theory is a branch of economics that studies the decision-making behavior of voters, politicians and government officials from the perspective of economic theory, namely game theory and decision theory.
While the good government tends to be a pure public good for the mass of voters, there exists a plethora of various interest groups that have strong incentives for lobbying the government to implement specific inefficient policies that would benefit them at the expense of the general public.
Public choice theory is commonly associated with universities in Virginia, most notably George Mason University and the University of Virginia, where Tullock and Buchanan first worked in developing the theory.
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