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Title: Professions and the public interest : a comparative study on the moral division of labour in medical practice in Burkina Faso
Author: Sawadogo, Natewinde
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis argues that the assumption of self-regulation, historically claimed and enjoyed by the professions for an efficient promotion of their positional interests, has shaped the moral division of labour in medical practice in colonial and postcolonial Burkina Faso, in a way that has defunctionalised the state's regulatory oversight, but without the professions being able to achieve such claim, thus confirming the sociological assumption according to which the integrative and solidarity functions of the professions, as with regard to the market, depend on the state regulatory oversight, in a context of an equitable institutional design. The professions' claim for self-regulation challenges two classical theories of social action. One of these theories, originating from classical sociology, sees the professions (or occupations) as a development that forms part of the foundation of modern society. These institutions are alternatives to the disintegration of traditional forms of institutional designs. From this perspective, those occupations already organised into occupational groups should be supported to adapt their organisations to the new social order, and those lacking organisation should be obliged to gather into regulated organisations. Conflating any moral distinctions between occupations, this classical sociological theory strongly supported that only a regulated labour market could foster occupational moral behaviour. x The second competing theory, originating from classical economics, sees free labour markets as the ultimate source of moral conduct in the exchange economy. According to this paradigm, deliberate coordination of individual efforts is irrelevant and counterproductive; because the regulator does not know all the circumstances of the complex mechanisms of the markets, and what even the regulator succeeds in bringing about would have been spontaneously better worked, solved' by the internal laws of the market anyway. The professions have subscribed in part to the sociological theory by claiming that only regulations by the professions themselves can result in ethical provision of their services that advance the public interest. No interference of the state is therefore needed. In consequence, they rejected the second rationalisation in terms of the market as opposed to their orientation. The professions' claim cannot be empirically substantiated. The professions consistent inability to accomplish their claim it contexts in which this oversight is lacking has been substantiated. Surprisingly, when the state cannot guarantee the condition which promotes democratic values, the basis of professionalism, the market situation offers a much more effective means for mitigating individuals' trouble, than a regulated situation such as the professions'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available