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Political Science Environmental Policy

Alternatives to Privatisation

Public Options for Essential Services in the Global South

edited by David A. McDonald & Greg Ruiters

Human Sciences Research Council
Initial publish date
Apr 2012
Environmental Policy
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2012
    List Price

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Recognizing how critics of privatization are often told they present no alternatives, this book takes up that challenge, proposing conceptual models for what exactly constitutes a dependable alternative to privatization and commercialization. The analysis delves into what makes these potential alternatives successes or failures, citing empirical data on creative public service initiatives in more than 40 countries in the global south. Providing a robust platform for comparisons across regions and sectors with a focus on health, water, and electricity, this groundbreaking study presents a compelling survey penned by leading academics, practitioners, and activists in the field. Sectoral and regional overviews of Asia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean are included.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

David A. McDonald is a professor of global development studies at Queen’s University. He lives in Kingston, Ontario. Greg Ruiters is a professor of governance and public policy at the University of the Western Cape. They are the codirectors of the Municipal Services Project.

Editorial Reviews

"Here is a book that many have been waiting for: an empirical, theoretical, and normative case for defending and innovating 'the public.' This book does not romanticize the state or community and illustrates that 'the public' comes in many forms and guises; both good and bad."  —David McCoy, University College London and People's Health Movement

"At a time that neoliberal solutions to social services have lost credibility, this book argues convincingly that alternatives to privatization exist and are often more effective than private enterprises."  —Walden Bello, author, The Food Wars