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The evolution of private provision in urban drinking water: New geographies, institutional ambiguity and the need for political economy

The evolution of private provision in urban drinking water: New geographies, institutional ambiguity and the need for political economy

Yurchenko, Yuliya and Powell, Jeffrey (2019) The evolution of private provision in urban drinking water: New geographies, institutional ambiguity and the need for political economy. New Political Economy. pp. 1-16. ISSN 1356-3467 (Print), 1469-9923 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/13563467.2018.1562432)

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Abstract

Empirical research paints a dynamic picture of the evolution of private provision in urban drinking water. A second wave of privatisation is clustered in a key group of countries, distinguished by the rise of new domestic private and quasi-private providers. This is, however, taking place in the presence of a counter-dynamic of remunicipalisation. In response to the complexity in provision arrangements revealed, three case studies are used to illustrate how different power balance configurations in the state-society-capital complex inform particular institutional arrangements. In Germany, civil society pressure challenged private capital resulting in the reinstatement of municipal control in Berlin, but at high long-term costs. In Russia, disempowered civil society has watched as the ruling regime exploits the support of international public agencies and foreign investors, while carefully safeguarding the interests of domestic private capital. In China, different levels of the state have promoted quasi-state actors into global corporations, managing the entry of international capital in order to bolster domestic support for desired political reforms. Public responsibility, and equally the re-assertion of public control after a period of private provision, may not in itself secure net social benefit where the right of capital to profit is put before broader social considerations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: water provision, urban water, utilities, privatisation, remunicipalisation, political economy
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2019 11:23
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 1
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/22408

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