it is increasingly apparent that the privatization experiment in sub-Saharan Africa has failed. This book shows that the state is set to dominate service delivery for the foreseeable future in much of the region, and that the public sector must be considered as a viable policy option for the delivery of water and electricity.
How do we provide effective public services in a deeply neoliberal world? In the wake of the widespread failure of privatisation efforts, societies in the global south are increasingly seeking progressive ways of recreating the public sector. With contributors ranging from cutting-edge scholars to activists working in health, water, and energy provision, and with case studies covering a broad spectrum of localities and actors, Making Public in a Privatized World uncovers the radically different ways in which public services are being reshaped from the grassroots up. From communities holding the state accountable for public health in rural Guatemala, to waste pickers in India and decentralized solar electricity initiatives in Africa, the essays in this collection offer probing insights into the complex ways in which people are building genuine alternatives to privatization, while also illustrating the challenges which communities face in creating public services which are not subordinated to the logic of the market, or to the monolithic state entities of the past.
Economic inequality has recently gained considerable academic attention. However, two important aspects of inequality have not been discussed systematically: its multidimensional nature and the question of what can be done to reverse it. This book offers insights from scholars representing the Global Labour University, which operates in Brazil, Germany, India, South Africa and the US. They analyse the various drivers of inequality, assess policy responses, and discuss counterstrategies. The main findings of this book are that rising levels of inequality cannot be addressed only with the standard policies responses, namely education, redistribution and ‘green growth’. In addition, the way markets currently function needs to be corrected. The chapters in this volume focus on specific fields of contemporary capitalism where important drivers of inequality are located, for example, the labour market; the financial system; the tax system; multi-national corporations; and gender relations. Other chapters discuss in detail where political opportunities for change lie. They critically assess existing countermeasures; the idea of a ‘green economy’ and its implications for inequality; and existing campaigns by trade unions and new social movements against inequality. In line with the global nature of the problem, this book contains case studies on countries both from the north and south with considerable economic and political weight. This book provides academics, political practitioners and civil society activists with a range of ideas on how to drive back inequality. It will be of interest to those who study political economy, development economy and labour economics.
After three decades of privatization and anti-state rhetoric, government ownership and public management are back in vogue. This book explores this rapidly growing trend towards ‘corporatization’ - public enterprises owned and operated by the state, with varying degrees of autonomy. If sometimes driven by neoliberal agendas, there exist examples of corporatization that could herald a brighter future for equity-oriented public services. Drawing on original case studies from Asia, Africa and Latin America, this book critically examines the histories, structures, ideologies and social impacts of corporatization in the water and electricity sectors, interrogating the extent to which it can move beyond commercial goals to deliver progressive public services. The first collection of its kind, Rethinking Corporatization and Public Services in the Global South offers rich empirical insight and theoretical depth into what has become one of the most important public policy shifts for essential services in the global South.
The privatization of large state-owned enterprises is one of the most radical policy developments of the last quarter century. Right-wing governments have privatized in an effort to decrease the size of government, while left-wing governments have privatized either to compensate for the failures of state-owned firms or to generate revenues. In this way, privatization has spread from Europe to Latin America, from Asia to Africa, reaching its zenith with Central and Eastern Europe's transition from socialism to capitalism. In many countries state ownership has been an important tool in bringing cheap water, energy, and transport to poorer segments of the population. In other instances, it has sponsored aggressive cutbacks, corruption, and cronyism. Privatization: Successes and Failures evaluates the practices and results of privatization in Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Featuring the world's leading economists and experts on privatization, this volume offers a broad and balanced analysis of specific privatization projects and uncovers some surprising trends. Partial privatization, for example, tends to be more widespread than one might think, and the effects of privatization on efficiency are generally mixed but rarely negative. Also, while privatization appears uncontroversial in competitive sectors, it becomes increasingly complex in more monopolistic sectors where good regulation is crucial. Privatization concludes with alternative frameworks for countries in Africa and other regions that seek to develop privatization policy and programs.
There is a vast literature for and against privatizing public services. Those who are against privatization are often confronted with the objection that they present no alternative. This book takes up that challenge by establishing theoretical models for what does (and does not) constitute an alternative to privatization, and what might make them ‘successful’, backed up by a comprehensive set of empirical data on public services initiatives in over 40 countries. This is the first such global survey of its kind, providing a rigorous and robust platform for evaluating different alternatives and allowing for comparisons across regions and sectors. The book helps to conceptualize and evaluate what has become an important and widespread movement for better public services in the global South. The contributors explore historical, existing and proposed non-commercialized alternatives for primary health, water/sanitation and electricity. The objectives of the research have been to develop conceptual and methodological frameworks for identifying and analyzing alternatives to privatization, and testing these models against actually existing alternatives on the ground in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Information of this type is urgently required for practitioners and analysts, both of whom are seeking reliable knowledge on what kind of public models work, how transferable they are from one place to another and what their main strengths and weaknesses are.
This edited collection explores key human rights themes and situates them in the context of developments on the African continent. It examines critical debates in human rights bringing together conceptually and empirically rich contributions from leading thinkers in human rights and African studies. Drawing on scholarly insights from the fields of constitutional law, human rights, development, feminist studies, public health, and media studies, the volume contributes to scholarly debates on constitutionalism, the right to water, securitization of development, environmental and transitional justice, sexual rights, conflict and gender-based violence, the right to development, and China’s deepening role in Africa. Consequently, it makes an important scholarly intervention on timely issues pertaining to the African continent and beyond.
This book discusses the recently introduced concession policy, which is also known as PPP worldwide, on municipal utilities policy in China. In this context, critics have claimed that there is a gap in accountability with regard to concessions. The author utilizes interdisciplinary methods and comparative studies, taking into account the situation in the EU and US to analyze the accountability gap some feel will be created when the policy is implemented. Taking water sector concessions as the subject of discussion, the author distinguishes between three types of accountability: traditional bureaucratic accountability, legal accountability and public accountability. By systematically analyzing the essential problems involved, the book attempts to achieve a better understanding of concession and its application in the context of public utilities and finds that the alleged accountability gap is attributed to traditional bureaucratic accountability in China and the concession system per se.
''Thomas Marois'' book, States, Banks and Crisis, is highly attractive to development scholars because of the combinations of topics it discusses, the countries analyzed, and its characterization of financial capital as dominant. In the last century the states of Mexico and Turkey promoted robust economic growth guided by powerful public banking organizations. The book captures how this came to a halt since the 1980s through the privatizing of economic activity, especially banking activities in ways that induced steep banking crises that halted economic development. Marois discusses the theory and history of Mexico and Turkey in depth offering an excellent analysis of their neoliberal experiences while proposing new alternatives to reshape the linkages between the financial sector and economic growth.'' Noemí Levy, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City ''This book attempts to provide a critique of neoclassical and liberal political economists as well as the much-hyped and influential "varieties of capitalism" approach, a variant of institutionalist political economy, by claiming that they are dismissive of "the structural power of financial capital". In this regard, it makes an important contribution to the critical political economy tradition with its detailed analysis of the relations between the state, finance capital and labour in the context of two "emerging capitalisms", Mexico and Turkey. Thereby, it enhances our understanding of how the financial crises function as driving forces of neoliberal transformation by initiating new forms of state specific to peripheral capitalism.'' Galip Yalman, Middle East Technical University, Turkey ''As analysts fixated on the financial crisis convulsing the core capitalist countries, the so-called "emerging markets" also saw stunning tranformations in the world of finance capitalism. This remarkable study by Tom Marois carefully dissects the evolution of the banking industry in two of the most significant state-led capitalisms, Turkey and Mexico, as they formed finance-led neoliberal economic policies. The consequences for their development strategies makes for sober reading. This is a unique and crucial study for students of the comparative political economy of contemporary capitalism.'' Greg Albo, York University, Canada ''Financialization is as financialization does. It is a mix of the universal characteristics of finance within capitalism, its contemporary powerful hold over, even defining feature of, the neoliberal age, and the myriad of specific global markets and countries into which it has penetrated. In a stunning work of comparative political economy, Marois brilliantly weaves together these aspects of finance drawing on both innovative theoretical insights and primary case study evidence from Turkey and Mexico to furnish what will become a classic and original contribution to the understanding of financialization in the developing world, highlighting both the role of the state in the era of putatively free markets and the possibility, indeed, necessity of alternatives.'' Ben Fine, University of London, UK ''Marois has provided us with a fascinating, rigorous and important study of the rise and persistence of finance capitalism in Mexico and Turkey. Drawing on an innovative historical materialist lens, Marois'' analysis reveals the struggles, contradictions, and continued significance of the banking sector in defining and redefining neoliberal-led development in these so-called "emerging markets". This is a very welcome addition to critical understandings of the role of finance and states in the global South.'' Susanne Soederberg, Queen''s University, Canada Thomas Marois'' groundbreaking interpretation of banking and development in Mexico and Turkey builds on a Marxian-inspired framework premised on understanding states and banks as social relationships alongside crisis and labor as vital to finance today. The book''s rich historical and empirical content reveals definite institutionalized relationships of power that mainstream political economists often miss. While leading to a timely analysis of the impact of the Great Recession on Mexico and Turkey, the major contribution of States, Banks and Crisis in its account of emerging finance capitalism. This is defined as the current phase of accumulation wherein the interests of financial capital are fused in the state apparatus as the institutionalized priorities and overarching social logic guiding the actions of state managers and government elites, often to the detriment of labor. This interdisciplinary and accessible study on banking and development will prove to be an important resource for upper-level undergraduates, graduates, and scholars in economics, development studies, political science, political economy, development finance, sociology, international relations and international political economy.
Water supply privatization was emblematic of the neoliberal turn in development policy in the 1990s. Proponents argued that the private sector could provide better services at lower costs than governments; opponents questioned the risks involved in delegating control over a life-sustaining resource to for-profit companies. Private-sector activity was most concentrated—and contested—in large cities in developing countries, where the widespread lack of access to networked water supplies was characterized as a global crisis. In Privatizing Water, Karen Bakker focuses on three questions: Why did privatization emerge as a preferred alternative for managing urban water supply? Can privatization fulfill its proponents' expectations, particularly with respect to water supply to the urban poor? And, given the apparent shortcomings of both privatization and conventional approaches to government provision, what are the alternatives? In answering these questions, Bakker engages with broader debates over the role of the private sector in development, the role of urban communities in the provision of "public" services, and the governance of public goods. She introduces the concept of "governance failure" as a means of exploring the limitations facing both private companies and governments. Critically examining a range of issues—including the transnational struggle over the human right to water, the "commons" as a water-supply-management strategy, and the environmental dimensions of water privatization—Privatizing Water is a balanced exploration of a critical issue that affects billions of people around the world.