Full Text


Burkart Holzner

Subject Business and Management
Sociology » Economic Sociology, Government, Politics, and Law

Key-Topics capitalism, private

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Privatization is a transfer of public services provided by various levels of governments in national states to the private sector of business. It is a relatively recent transformation of governance and markets in countries worldwide. In fact, it is an extraordinary, rapidly expanding phenomenon that is rising in global waves, transferring ownership from governments to private enterprises. Rendering public services via private businesses creates important political, economic, and cultural changes. The actual methods for privatization are manifold; they can be outright purchases, leases, subsidies or other cooperative partnerships, or yet other approaches. However, they put the privatized public service into the hands of private managers. The concept of privacy is not identical with privatization, but it is a part of the cluster of values linked to other changing values for governance and for markets. Privacy of enterprises emphasizes autonomy, independence, secrecy, and profit for the owners; both governance and markets demand transparency, accountability, and benefits for the public good. Democracy can be benefited by the efficiencies of privatization if the provided service responds to public needs and sensitivities, but it may be harmed where the private owners of a function are alien to the public. The history of privatization begins relatively late in the western industrial ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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