Shrinking the State: The Political Underpinnings of Privatization

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Nov 13, 1998 - Political Science - 182 pages
Privatization has spread worldwide during the 1980s and 1990s, and has significantly reshaped the balance between state and market in many countries. This book provides a comparative political analysis of the development, form, character and causes of privatization in three countries: the UK, USA and France. The authors argue that privatization is a political phenomenon and should be analyzed as such, rather than being seen as an economic response to the growth of the state and the cost of state provision. Privatization frequently has explicit political goals, and has consequences which redistribute costs and benefits to different groups. The book presents a threefold typology of privatization policy - pragmatic, tactical and systemic - and relates it to the experiences of USA, France and UK respectively. It will be of interest to students and scholars of politics, economics, public policy and business studies, as well as policy-makers and consultants in the field of privatization.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages


Privatization and theories of state growth
The political underpinnings of privatization
The United Kingdom from pragmatic to systemic privatization
France from pragmatic to tactical privatization
The United States cooptation of pragmatic initiatives by agents of systemic change
The boundaries of privatization

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information