How do civility and citizenship, aspects of the individual’s attachment to a liberal democratic society, affect the nature and future of that society? This book reminds us of the fragility of a good political order and the complexities of maintaining… More
This book of essays includes Edward C. Banfield’s most important insights into the American political system. “What Banfield has done…has been to challenge the central tenet of Progressive thought in America, namely, that society could and… More
“Banfield’s book is about the following subjects: various definitions of artistic purpose and activity; the legislative and political histories of the National Endowment for the Arts; the administration of that agency; the operation and raison… More
The Unheavenly City is one of the most widely read and widely debated books on contemporary American urban problems. In the more than twenty years since this book was written, the situation of the American city has not changed fundamentally. This is… More
“‘This book will probably strike many readers as the work of an ill-tempered and mean-spirited fellow.’ These words begin Edward Banfield’s 1970 classic, The Unheavenly City, one of the most contentious, interesting, and insightful… More
“Two university scholars of outstanding ability, Martin Meyerson and Edward C. Banfield…. were invited by Boston business leaders to publish a series of 12 essays on key public policy topics. These reached a mass audience by being printed as… More
Big City Politics: A Comparative Guide to the Political Systems of Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, El Paso, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Seattle– New York: Random House, 1965.
“Edward Banfield’s introductory essay crisply summarizes this book’s purpose, content and probable audience. It is designed to be a compact and informative description of political decision making in nine American… More
City Politics examines the structure of urban politics: the electoral system, the distribution of authority, the centralization of influence; and analyzes the forces and groups involved: reform, non-partisanship, businessmen, the Negroes. The authors see a… More
In his study, American Foreign Aid Doctrines, Professor Banfield critically examines the premises of aid doctrines as to both fact and value. As a critique of present aid doctrine, his study suggests that the time is long overdue for a reappraisal of our… More
In government, influence denotes one’s ability to get others to act, think, or feel as one intends. A mayor who persuades voters to approve a bond issue exercises influence. A businessman whose promises of support induce a mayor to take action exercises… More
Abstract: In the ten years that have passed since Schumpeter published these words ridiculing James Mill’s Essay on Government, an extensive literature has appeared that attempts to do the very thing that Schumpeter said could not be done. This… More
Abstract: The reason for our inveterate devotion to these millennial ideas is to be found in the nature of our kind of democracy. Ours is the only country in which the public at large participates actively in the daily conduct of government; it is the only… More
Excerpt: Evaluation of federal government programs is in a way a nonsubject because there hasn’t been a serious evaluation of a federal program for reasons I’ll go into a little later. My thought is to tell you how a particular federal program was… More
Abstract: Beginning with the Truman administration, there have been persistent and sometimes strenuous efforts to devolve many federal activities to state and local governments. These efforts have almost entirely failed. Meanwhile, the number and variety of… More
Excerpt: THE public library is one of those institutions-others include the museum and the park-that are peculiarly American. As such it has special claim on our attention. As invented by Benjamin Franklin, the library was an association of subscribers who… More
DeMuth and Kristol discuss the profound writings and teaching of the late Harvard Government professor.
Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrock explain that Edward Banfield’s sociological insights are a significant forerunner of current results from behavioral economics.
In late 1977, Stephen Smith, a journalist, interviewed Edward C. Banfield and many persons who knew him, for an article intended for Esquire magazine. In these selections, Banfield speaks of his the University of Chicago, his Harvard colleagues, problems… More
Richard Blumenethal (politician) Peter B. Clark (media executive) Christopher DeMuth (think-tank leader) Chester E. Finn, Jr. (education scholar and think-tank founder) Robert Goldwin (public servant and think-tank scholar) Mary Graham (university… More