Marcel vom Lehn: History of a Sachzwang: Privatization as a historical process

Abstract

Privatization has recently been regarded as one of the most important historical changes since the 1970s. It has affected public enterprises and lead to a marketization of state and society on a global scale, a phenomenon which has been regarded as inevitable. This review article addresses, firstly, how privatization has been implemented as a political model and secondly, how it has been publicly constructed as an inevitable process both nationally and locally. Furthermore, the essay highlights how privatization has influenced the relationship between state, market and civil society and examines the way the differentiation between public and private sphere has been obliterated. The role of think tanks and consultant networks, the counter movements, and the experiences of people being subject to their enterprises’ or institutions’ privatization are discussed as a closing comment, suggesting new perspectives of historical research on privatization.

The following titels were discussed i.a.:
Dobner, P.
: Wasserpolitik (59); Ebbinghaus, B. (Hrsg.): The varieties of pension governance (59); Ziekow, J. (Hrsg.): Wandel der Staatlichkeit und wieder zurück? (61); Parker, D.: The official history of privatisation, Vol. 1 (63); Parker, D.: The official history of privatisation, Vol. 2 (63); Beveridge, R.: A politics of inevitability (65); Hüesker, F.: Kommunale Daseinsvorsorge in der Wasserwirtschaft. Auswirkungen der Privatisierung am Beispiel der Wasserbetriebe des Landes Berlin (69); Haug, P./Rosenfeld, M. (Hrsg.): Neue Grenzen städtischer Wirtschaftstätigkeit. (70); Darraz, E. F.: Hochschulprivatisierung und akademische Freiheit (72)

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