Government for the Public Good: The Surprising Science of Large-scale Collective Action
Bridget Williams Books, $50.00,
This is an optimistic book that aims to re-set the narrative on collective action and, in particular, how we discuss the role of government in our economic and social life. Author Max Rashbrooke’s previous books were on inequality (an edited collection) and on wealth in New Zealand (a BWB short text). Government for the Public Good: The Surprising Science of Large-Scale Collective Action continues Rashbrooke’s concern with how New Zealand can be a more egalitarian, fairer country. As with his previous books, Rashbrooke mixes his critique of the status quo with suggestions for policy improvements, but the main goal here is to present solutions. His confidence that there is an alternative infuses the book; his critique of what is essentially neoliberalism (a term he rarely uses) is countered in every case study chapter with examples of alternative, successful approaches to problem-solving, many sourced from overseas.