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7 - Nurturing Reciprocity in Public Policy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2019

Adam Oliver
Affiliation:
London School of Economics and Political Science
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Summary

Reciprocity, if harnessed in the right way, can serve as a force for good, but it can wither and thus needs to be nourished. This chapter suggests three nutrients. First, reciprocity should be emphasised in the political discourse. If we want social structures that support the basic human motivation to reciprocate and hence cooperate, then how they do so ought to be explained clearly. Second, the decentralisation of more of the management of public services to local planners, purchasers and providers is advisable, partly because securing reciprocal motivations and actions and abating egoistical ones is more difficult the larger the group, partly because this would afford greater local level innovation, which, if good results were shown, could be disseminated cross-regionally, and partly because local level actors will be more in tune with the objectives and priorities of the people they serve. Third, there ought to be policy action on reducing the high concentrations of income and wealth within small percentages of the population, because if one wants people to give and take it makes sense to create conditions where they do not feel that others are merely taking.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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  • Nurturing Reciprocity in Public Policy
  • Adam Oliver, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Reciprocity and the Art of Behavioural Public Policy
  • Online publication: 06 July 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108647755.007
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  • Nurturing Reciprocity in Public Policy
  • Adam Oliver, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Reciprocity and the Art of Behavioural Public Policy
  • Online publication: 06 July 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108647755.007
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Nurturing Reciprocity in Public Policy
  • Adam Oliver, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Reciprocity and the Art of Behavioural Public Policy
  • Online publication: 06 July 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108647755.007
Available formats
×