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A civil society is one in which a democratic government and a market economy operate together. The idea of the civil economy—encompassing a democratic government and a market economy—presumes that people can solve social problems within the market itself. This book explores the relationship between the two, examining the civil underpinnings of capitalism and investigating the way a civil economy evolves in history and is developed for the future by careful planning.
Severyn T. Bruyn describes how people in three sectors—government, business, and the Third Sector (nonprofits and civil groups)—can develop an accountable, self-regulating, profitable, humane, and competitive system of markets that could be described as a civil economy. He examines how government officials can organize markets to reduce government costs; how local leaders deal with global corporations that would unfairly exploit their community resources; and how employees can become coparticipants in the development of human values in markets.
A Civil Economy is oriented to interdiciplinary studies of the economy, assisting scholars in diverse fields, such as business management, sociology, political science, and economics, in developing a common language to examine civic problems in the marketplace.
As an undergraduate text, it evokes a mode of thought about the development of a self-accountable system of markets. Students learn to understand how the market economy becomes socially accountable and self-reliant, while remaining productive, competitive, and profitable.
"The author is optimistic about the ability of private for-profit institutions to regulate themselves in a manner that is cooperative, rational for a particular industry, and often good for the larger society...On the other hand, the author also strongly supports regulatory environments and legal/institutional ethical frameworks to keep firms in check."
—Abstracts of Public Administration, Development, and the Environment