By Ross Beveridge
This booklet offers a close research of the debatable privatisation of the Berlin Water corporation (BWB) in 1999. As with different instances of privatisation world wide, the city’s executive argued there has been no replacement in a context of public bills and monetary restructuring. Drawing on post-structuralist concept, the research awarded right here steps outdoor the parameters of this neat, elementary rationalization. It problematises the ‘hard proof’ upon which the choice was once it sounds as if made, offering as a substitute an account during which evidence will be political structures formed via normative assumptions and political thoughts. A politics of inevitability in Nineties Berlin is printed; one characterized by means of depoliticisation, expert-dominated coverage methods and targeted upon the perceived prerequisites of city governance within the worldwide financial system. it's an account during which worldwide and native dynamics combine: the place the interaction among the final and the categorical, among neoliberalism and politicking, and among globalisation and native actors characterise the discussion.
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Extra info for A Politics of Inevitability: The Privatisation of the Berlin Water Company, the Global City Discourse, and Governance in 1990s Berlin
It is has been acknowledged even by the World Bank, one of the prime supporters of privatisation in the water sector, that privatisation projects often create conditions in which corruption can flourish, with the prospect of lucrative contracts and sale revenues encouraging bribery (Hall 1999, 11-12). Nonetheless, this has not stopped some researchers advocating privatisation as a solution to corruption (RoseAckerman 1999). How can the continued promotion and implementation of privatisation be explained, given the potential for corruption and failure to achieve stated objectives?
As well as prompting water companies to seek ways of reducing costs – outsourcing services and cutting jobs – three key strategies of restructuring emerged: diversification, internationalisation and, most radically, returning ownership of assets to not-for-profit companies, while retaining responsibility for water supply and treatment. Ofwat received two proposals of this kind: from Kelda Water (formerly Yorkshire Water), which was rejected and Dwr Cymru (formerly Welsh Water), which was successful.
Although Thatcher’s government privatised the water companies in England and Wales in 1989, privatisation of WSS services has generally developed more slowly than in other sectors and been more controversial and problematic in its effects. This can be seen as a reflection of both the inherent 46 obstacles to implementing private sector logics – of profit-making and competition - in the natural monopolies that usually characterise WSS sectors as well as the special status and value of water as a fundamental resource for living and an environmental treasure.