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Public resistance to privatisation in water and energy

Public resistance to privatisation in water and energy

Hall, David, Lobina, Emanuele ORCID: 0000-0003-4774-0308 and De La Motte, Robin (2005) Public resistance to privatisation in water and energy. Development in Practice, 15 (3-4). pp. 286-301. ISSN 0961-4524 (doi:

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Since the 1990s, development agencies and international institutions have promoted private-sector involvement in infrastructure, assuming that this would inject both investment and efficiency into the under-performing public sector. In the water and energy sectors, these expectations have not been fulfilled. Private-sector investment in developing countries is falling, multinational companies have failed to make sustainable returns on their investments, and the process of privatisation in water and energy has proved widely unpopular and encountered strong political opposition. This paper examines the role of this opposition in delaying, cancelling, or reversing the privatisation of water and energy. Local civil society has successfully mobilised highly effective political activity, its opposition being based on the perceived conflicts between privatisation and equity, and over the role of the state and community in these sectors. Such opposition has involved dynamic interactions with existing political parties and structures, including the use of existing electoral and judicial mechanisms. Its success poses challenges for the multilateral and donor community, NGOs, the opposition campaigns themselves, and the future of national systems of electricity and water.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: water, energy, electricity, privatisation, liberalisation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2020 15:43

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