Limits to Privatization: How to Avoid Too Much of a Good Thing: A Report to the Club of Rome

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Limits to Privatization is the first thorough audit of privatizations from around the world. It outlines the historical emergence of globalization and liberalization, and from analyses of over 50 case studies of best- and worst-case experiences of privatization, it provides guidance for policy and action that will restore and maintain the right balance between the powers and responsibilities of the state, the private sector and the increasingly important role of civil society. The result is a book of major importance that challenges one of the orthodoxies of our day and provides a benchmark for future debate.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'In the golden days of the Washington consensus, privatization was viewed as one of the central pillars of successful development. Ideology and interests triumphed over economic theory and experience, both of which noted the difficulties posed by privatization and its limitations. Through a series of case studies, Weizsäcker and his colleagues illustrate the limits to privatization'
JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics and former chief economist and senior vice-president of the World Bank

'Detailed case analysis is the only way to ensure that we learn how to get privatization policies right. This book with a sound ethical foundation is an invaluable resource for policy-makers, trade unions, the business community and all who are interested in what should be publicly or privately owned'
JUAN SOMAVIA, Director-General, ILO

'This timely new book is an important contribution as we explore the crisis in good jobs for working people the world over'
JOHN SWEENEY, President for Public Affairs, AFL-CIO

'Indigenous peoples are among those caught in the cracks between public and private ownership. Territories and resources which we traditionally own have been systematically and immorally appropriated both by states or the private sector. This book presents solutions for balanced approaches to regulate privatization which otherwise threatens to endanger our continuing existence'
VICTORIA TAULI CORPUZ, Executive Director, Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education), Philippines

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844071777
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 5/28/2005
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker is dean of the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, UC Santa Barbara and a former member of the German Bundestag. Oran R. Young is a professor in the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. Matthias Finger is chair and professor of Management of Network Industries at the College of Management, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, as well as dean of the School of Continuing Education, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland. Marianne Barheim is assistant professor at the Free University Berlin, Institute for Political Science.

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Table of Contents

• Limits to Privatization
• Initial remarks
• Water
• Metals and Cement
• Other Resources
• Energy
• Telecommunication and Postal Services
• Transportation
• Waste Disposal
• Insurance
• Culture and Media
• Health
• Education
• Pensions
• Police and Security
• Initial remarks
• The General Context
• The Regional Context
• Special Issues
• Initial remarks
• Regulation
• Privatization and Municipal Democracy
• Financing Global Public Goods: Challenges
• Escaping Pernicious Dualism: Civil Society between the State and the Firm
• Private Governance: Private Rules for Privatization?
• 'Co-evolution' between State Regulation and the Private Sector
• Lessons Learned from Privatization *

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2006

    Well supported, refreshing take on government involvement in business

    Privatization was in vogue during the eighties and nineties. It aimed to eliminate, or at least reduce, corruption, inefficiency and the politicization of economic matters ¿ and it often succeeded. However, in some cases, such as the World Bank, it failed so egregiously that even its erstwhile supporters began to have second thoughts about the wisdom of encouraging the state to manage basic infrastructures and industries. Authors Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Oran R. Young, Matthias Finger and Marianne Beisheim explore the experience of privatization and investigate the factors that have led to some of its successes and failures. They are not entirely free from bias, but the pro-privatization forces have so long dominated the public discussion that we find this well-supported counterargument refreshing, and recommend this book to public and private sector executives and managers as well as to political officials.

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