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Introducing Alternatives to Privatisation: Public Options for Essential Services in the Global South

Alternatives to PrivatizationCritics of privatisation are often told they present no alternatives. Alternatives to Privatization: Public Options for Essential Services in the Global South takes up that challenge, proposing conceptual models for what constitutes an “alternative to privatisation” and analyses what makes them successful (or not), backed up by empirical data on creative public service initiatives in over 40 countries in the Global South.

This groundbreaking study provides a robust platform for comparisons across regions and sectors, with a focus on health, water and electricity. Alternatives to Privatisation is a compelling study and has been written by leading academics, practitioners and activists in the field.


Introduction: In search of alternatives to privatisation
– David A McDonald and Greg Ruiters

Weighing the options: Methodological considerations
– David A McDonald and Greg Ruiters

PART I: Actors, issues and ideologies

Terrains of neoliberalism: Constraints and opportunities for alternative models of service delivery
– Ben Fine and David Hall

Transformative resistance: The role of labour and trade unions in alternatives to privatisation
– Hilary Wainwright

Gendering justice, building alternative futures
– Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Sarah Miraglia

Social movement struggles for public services
– Susan Spronk and Philipp Terhorst

Careful what you ask for: State-led alternatives to privatisation
– David A McDonald and Greg Ruiters

PART II: Sectoral and regional reviews

Asia: Regional overview
– Jenina Joy Chavez

Creating, reclaiming, defending: Non-commercialised alternatives in the health sector in Asia
– Amit Sengupta

Springs of Hope: Alternatives to Commercialisation of Water Resources and Services in Asia
– Buenaventura Drafantes, Cheryl Batistel and Mary Ann Manahan

The public in Asia power
– Nepomuceno Malaluan

Africa: Regional overview
– Greg Ruiters

African triage: Assessing alternatives to health care privatisation south of the Sahara
– Yoswa M Dambisya and Hyacinth Eme Ichoku

Where have all the alternatives gone? The shrinking of African water policy options
– Kate Bayliss and Al-Hassan Adam

Electrifying Africa: Turning a continental challenge into a people’s opportunity
– Terri Hathaway

Latin America and the Caribbean: Regional overview
– Susan Spronk

Progressive alternatives in primary health care in latin America
– Luis Ortiz Hernandez, Iliana Camacho Cuapio, Catalina Eibenschutz Hartman and Silvia Tamez Gonzalez

Struggles for water justice in Latin America: Public and ‘social-public’ alternatives
– Susan Spronk, Carlos Crespo and Marcela Olivera

Alternatives in the electricity sector in Latin America
– Daniel Chavez

PART III: Looking ahead

Conclusion: Ways forward for alternatives in health care, water and electricity
– David A McDonald and Greg Ruiters

Praise for Alternatives to Privatisation

“Here is a book that many have been waiting for: an empirical, theoretical and normative case for defending and innovating ‘the public’. In resisting neoliberalism we need to show that there are viable alternatives to the privatisation and commercialisation of essential services. This book does not romanticise the state, or community, and illustrates that ‘the public’ comes in many forms and guises; both good and bad. The public is a terrain on which people must struggle if we are to realise our commitments to social, cultural and economic rights.” – 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 privatisation exist and are often more effective than private enterprises. Drawing on examples in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, this book drives home the lesson that broad-based consultation and participation in service delivery is an essential ingredient of success.” – Walden Bello, Author, academic, and political analyst

About the editors

David A McDonald is Professor of Global Development Studies at Queen’s University, Canada, and co-director of the Municipal Services Project.

Greg Ruiters is Professor of Governance and Public Policy at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, and co-director of the Municipal Services Project.

Book details

  • Alternatives to Privatisation: Public Options for Essential Services in the Global South edited by David A McDonald and Greg Ruiters
    EAN: 9780796923776
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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