- Available in: Print and PDF
- Published: January 1, 2004
Edited by Ben Shimshon
Published 2004 (ISBN: 1 902488 77 6) Price £9.95
The series of seminars which are transcribed in this monograph were held between January and April 2004. The initial idea for the series came from a speech given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Social Market Foundation in February 2003 entitled A Modern Agenda for Prosperity and Social Reform. In his speech, the Chancellor raised a number of crucial issues and questions about the role and limits of government and markets in pursuing the public interest. In many of the current areas of political controversy – public/private partnerships, the future of healthcare, the funding of universities – a common thread is the relationship between individuals, markets and the state in meeting the interests of the public. Over the course of the series we tried to discuss the major policy implications that flow from the Chancellor’s speech. What exactly is the ‘public interest’? What are the conditions that are necessary to promote the public interest through the activities of government and the markets? What are the respective roles of markets and government in securing opportunity and security for all? What are the moral limits of markets and where does perceived market failure become a threat to the pursuit of the public interest? Each seminar saw these themes drawn out through presentations by, and discussions between, politicians, business people, commentators, academics and public servants from across the political spectrum.