Public Interest

… a core term used in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100


The Free Dictionary defines public interest as “a common concern among citizens in the management and affairs of local, state, and national government.”

BusinessDictionary (reference below) has a more extensive definition:

“Welfare of the general public (in contrast to the selfish interest of a person, group, or firm) in which the whole society has a stake and which warrants recognition, promotion, and protection by the government and its agencies. Despite the vagueness of the term, public interest is claimed generally by governments in matters of state secrecy and confidentiality. It is approximated by comparing expected gains and potential costs or losses associated with a decision, policy, program, or project.”

Atlas topic, subject, and course

The Study of Governance and Institutions (core topic) in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100 Governance and Institutions.


Free Dictionary, Public Interest, at, accessed 5 August 2016.

BusinessDictionary, public interest, at, accessed 23 January 2017.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 23 January 2017.