Ethical Foundations for Policy Analysis
Using concrete, real-world examples, Ellis shows how policy analysts can better account for the use value—or practical measurable utility—of universally agreed-upon social benefits such as life, health, safety, and environmental preservation when making cost-benefit analyses. In this way, policymakers, and by extension, society as a whole, can avoid making unjust tradeoffs between important social values and comparatively frivolous economic benefits.
Drawing on philosophical works on justice from Kant through John Rawls, this book is informed by a theoretical defense of distributive justice that emphasizes diminishing marginal utility, thus favoring the poor. Just Results is a stimulating and highly applicable book that will be of great interest to philosophers, political scientists, policy analysts and planners.
"In this creative and ambitious study, Ellis seeks to reconcile the considerations of justice . . . and utility. . . . This is a vigorously transdisciplinary work that speaks to specialists in a range of fields, including applied ethics, moral and political philosophy, risk analysis, and legal history."—Religious Studies Review
"A rare combination of theory and practice that expands the assumptions and methodology of policy analysis while it moves the debate over consequentialist ethics beyond utility and market preferences to a new level of sophistication. A truly elegant policy argument that should be required reading for students, scholars, and practitioners alike."—John Martin Gillroy, MacArthur Professor of Environmental Studies, Bucknell University
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