Policy Press have contacted me to say that three of my books are now available on their online service, Policy Press Scholarship online. This is subscribed to by many institutions – I have access by way of the National Library of Scotland. The books are, in order of publication, Reclaiming Individualism (2013), Thinking Collectively (2019) and The Poverty of Nations (2020).
If the books were being written now, I’d need of course to take account of the current pandemic; but oddly, there’s little in the intellectual content that would need to be changed. In Thinking collectively, I review a range of moral arguments for collective action, and competing conceptions of the ‘common good’. The common good might be understood as the sum of particular interests, such as economic development; on interests which are shared with other people, like the arguments for clean water; on interests which we share as members of a collectivity, such as defence or foreign policy; and, beyond that, the process of collective action, such as democratic participation. The response to Covid-19 is – or should be – an example of aiming for the common good in every sense.