University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

What Do Public Values Mean for Public Action? Putting Public Values in their Plural Place

Davis, Paul and West, K. (2009) What Do Public Values Mean for Public Action? Putting Public Values in their Plural Place. American Review of Public Administration, 39 (6). pp. 602-618. ISSN 0275-0740

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Public values are moving from a research concern to policy discourse and management practice. There are, though, different readings of what public values actually mean. Reflection suggests two distinct strands of thinking: a generative strand that sees public value emerging from processes of public debate; and an institutional interpretation that views public values as the attributes of government producers. Neither perspective seems to offer a persuasive account of how the public gains from strengthened public values. Key propositions on values are generated from comparison of influential texts. A provisional framework is presented of the values base of public institutions and the loosely coupled public propositions flowing from these values. Value propositions issue from different governing contexts, which are grouped into policy frames that then compete with other problem frames for citizens’ cognitive resources. Vital democratic commitments to pluralism require public values to be distributed in competition with other, respected, frames.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Co-author (second named) Dr K. West Aston Business School
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: public values, modelling, value framing regime, values conflict, plurality
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
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Depositing User: Paul Davis
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2012 15:33
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 16:57

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