With the growth of the U. S. national government under the Obama administration, the perennial debate over where to draw the line between public and private has come to the fore yet again. This time around, however, the stakes are higher than ever, as unprecedented amounts of public money are poured into private corporations.
In Drawing the Line, Andrew Stark takes a fresh and provocative look at how Americans debate the border between the public realm and the private. Are these arguments specific to policy and community, or do the reveal something bigger about politics and society? Having conducted hundreds of interviews with policymakers and advocates, Stark weaves that input with his own innovative insights into a counterintuitive view on how citizens at the grassroots level divide up in policy debates - e.g., on education, land use, health care, and welfare - over the line between public and private responsibility. In doing so, the book provides striking "Main Street" lessons on creating new policy coalitions. The book is published by Brookings Institution Press.
"As our political discourse becomes more hysterical and polarized by the day, we're very fortunate to have this sober and insightful book about American ideology by Andrew Stark. He shows that there is more common ground between conservatives and liberals than either side admits. Written with grace and wit, this book actually says something new about the political debates of our time." (Mark Lilla, Professor of the Humanities, Columbia University)
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And a complex line it is
- Phil O.