I can’t quite work out why the South Koreans should be interested in Micropolitics, but they seem to be. It was the title of a book I wrote 25 years ago, published by Wildwood, and it covered the impact of Public Choice Theory on policy formulation. At its core was the notion that successful policies should take into account the interest groups that derive benefit from the status quo. Rather than simply moving to confiscate that benefit, the policy formulators should consider trading it for another.
The most obvious example that springs to mind is the replacement of forced redundancies by voluntary early retirement. Instead of simply sacking people, a company (or public body) can offer cash sums to those who volunteer to leave. This has the same effect if cutting workforce numbers, but firms that do this are unlikely to face the level of opposition and resentment. It is more costly, but the extra costs might be worth it, especially in the political domain.
Now the South Koreans want to translate it and publish a Korean edition, a quarter of a century on. I wonder what they’ll make of it.
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