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Defining Public Goods

An Institutional Approach to Community-Building and Negotiating Inter-Community Conflict

David J. O’Brien

Through the lens of an economist’s notion of public goods, David J. O’Brien analyzes the dual problems of declining communities and polarizing conflicts between metropolitan and rural communities. The author describes in detail how seemingly intractable community-level problems and inter-community conflicts have been substantially reduced by framing them in terms of the self-interest of a larger polity. O’Brien’s extensive community-level research experience in urban and rural communities that covers multiple historical periods, will appeal to inter-disciplinary social scientists, development specialists and persons looking for a hopeful, practical approach to solving the challenges of globalization.