Leading the problems most critical to government decision makers worldwide are those that derive from privatization, democratization, and decentralization. Dr. Nagel and a panel of academics and practitioners help clarify the ways in which problems traceable to these trends are being handled - and how they might be handled better - in light of the goals, experiences, constraints, and other factors affecting participants in world governance. Among the many important features of the book is its interdisciplinary approach and the way it offers African, Asian, Latin American, European and North American viewpoints. It also combines the perspectives of liberal and conservative ideologies. Cross-national with concrete examples and broad concepts and principles carefully detailed, the book is an important source of background and insight. Nagel and the contributors make clear that privatizing can involve shifting from government to private operations, with or without government ownership and with or without liberal contract provisions to protect consumers, workers, or the environment. They show that democratization can include the expansion of political participation and can give mirities the legal right to convert the majority to their positions, possibly the techlogical and ecomic facilitators as well. They also investigate ways in which national or state governments can be involved as high units in decentralization processes, but show that decentralization can involve local governments, neighborhoods, businesses, or even individuals as the lower or decentral units. Throughout, the book offers alternative positions and discusses their consequences from a variety of cross-national and interdisciplinary perspectives.
STUART S. NAGEL is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is also Secretary-Treasurer and Publications Coordinator of the Policy Studies Organization and coordinator of the Dirksen-Stevenson Institute and the MKM Research Center, also at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Nagel has held fellowships and grants from the Ford, Rockefeller, and National Science Foundations, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and other important organizations. A prolific writer and editor, he lists among his more recent Quorum books Super Optimum Solutions and Win-Win Policy (1997), Legal Scholarship, Microcomputers, and Super-Optimizing Decision-Making (1993), and Computer-Aided Decision Analysis (1993).