Gerald Berk's Alternative Tracks: The Constitution of American Industrial PDF

By Gerald Berk

Alternative Tracks offers a singular interpretation of industrialization and political improvement within the usa. concentrating on the serious case of railroads, Gerald Berk indicates that substitute kinds of fiscal association and governmental law existed within the overdue 19th century. Constitutional offerings, no longer technological imperatives or financial pursuits, made up our minds the result within the 20th century: a centralized regulated based on liberal ideas of redistribution. Alternative Tracks unearths a nineteenth-century rival to this political economy―an both effective and extra democratic method of local railroads regulated in accordance with republican principles.

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Additional resources for Alternative Tracks: The Constitution of American Industrial Order, 1865-1917

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Examining these institutional arrangements inevitably brings us up against one of the central dilemmas of governance: what is the best way to divide up responsibilities for public goods provision among different levels of government? Proponents of decentralization argue that local governments should have primary responsibility for providing public goods for the citizens under their jurisdiction. They have more information about what citizens really need and want. When local governments are responsible for providing roads, schools, and other services, citizens know exactly whom to blame when something goes wrong.

P1: SBT 0521871976c01 CUNY805/Tsai 978 0 521 87197 6 September 22, 2007 17:49 Governance and Institutions of Accountability some shared set of ethical standards and moral obligations, but these obligations can be based on any number of things – kinship, patriotism, religion, humanist values, and so forth. The kind of moral glue that holds them together does not matter – only the fact that there is such glue and the configuration in which they are glued together. As we will see, it is possible to have accountability without formal democracy if you have the right kind of social groups.

Bardhan and D. Mookherjee, “Decentralization, Corruption, and Government Accountability: An Overview,” in Handbook of Economic Corruption, ed. Susan Rose-Ackerman (Northampton: Edward Elgar, 2005), 305– 28; H. Cai and Daniel Treisman, “State-Corroding Federalism,” Journal of Public Economics 88, no. 3 (2004), 819–43; Judith Tendler, Good Government in the Tropics (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1997), 599–617. Scholars of China have also observed negative effects of decentralization policies in China.

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Alternative Tracks: The Constitution of American Industrial Order, 1865-1917 by Gerald Berk


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