New Internationalist

Privatization - a resource guide

Issue 355

The big picture...

Neo-liberalism or Democracy? Economic strategy, markets and alternatives for the 21st century, Arthur MacEwan, Zed Books, London, 2000. A dense, detailed but worthwhile introduction to the workings of the global economy and the democratic alternatives.

Power Politics, Arundhati Roy, South End Press, Boston, 2001. Written with clarity and passion, Indian novelist Roy attacks India’s corrupt politics and the rampages of the transnational energy industry.

The Affluent Society, John Kenneth Galbraith, Houghton Mifflin, New York, 1998. Written 40 years ago by one of America’s great liberal economists. Stately, often pedantic, prose mixed with patrician wit combine in a classic indictment of private wealth and public squalor.

Fat Cats & Running Dogs: the Enron stage of capitalism, Vijay Prashad, Zed Books/Common. Courage, London/Monroe, ME 2002. A breathless, angry exposé of corporate crime. Highly readable, indignant and angry.

And on the WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services...

Facing the facts: A guide to the GATS debates, Scott Sinclair and Jim Grieshaber-Otto, 2002. And GATS: How the WTO’s new service negotiations threaten democracy, Scott Sinclair, Sept 2000. Comprehensive, careful research on the WTO’s secretive services agreement. Both from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Ottawa. http://www.policyalternatives.ca>

Serving up the nation, World Development Movement, London, 2002. Useful background on Britain’s commitments under the GATS including a sector-by-sector check on what’s still up for grabs. http://www.wdm.org.uk>

Trading healthcare away, GATS, public services and privatization, Sarah Sexton, Corner House Briefing 23, 2001. http://www.thecornerhouse.org.uk/> One of a series of consistently intelligent, meticulously researched briefing documents on a range of social issues.

Water justice for all, Friends of the Earth International, Amsterdam, 2003. A colourful new report with basic facts on water privatization and the GATS with case studies from Bolivia, Peru, Sri Lanka, France, Paraguay and elsewhere. http://www.foei.org>

Also recommended...

Public Services International Research Unit, University of Greenwich, Park Row Greenwich, London SE10 9LS. A treasure trove of research and analysis on privatization, public services and globalization, backed by Public Services International (PSI), the global confederation of public service trade unions. http://www.psiru.org>

Multinational Monitor, PO Box 19405, Washington DC 20036. Still the most consistently reliable source of news and muckraking reporting on the nefarious activities of corporate America and beyond. http://www.multinationalmonitor.org>

The Polaris Institute, 312 Cooper Street, Ottawa ON, Canada K2P. Valuable resources on a range of issues related to corporate-led globalization. Includes work on GATS, water privatization, public services, the corporate security state and bio-justice. http://www.polarisinstitute.org>

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