By Ross Beveridge
This ebook offers a close research of the debatable privatisation of the Berlin Water corporation (BWB) in 1999. As with different instances of privatisation worldwide, the city’s govt argued there has been no replacement in a context of public money owed and financial restructuring. Drawing on post-structuralist idea, the research awarded the following steps open air the parameters of this neat, undemanding clarification. It problematises the ‘hard evidence’ upon which the choice used to be it appears made, proposing as an alternative an account within which evidence will be political buildings formed via normative assumptions and political ideas. A politics of inevitability in Nineties Berlin is published; one characterized by means of depoliticisation, expert-dominated coverage strategies and targeted upon the perceived prerequisites of city governance within the international economic climate. it really is an account during which international and native dynamics combine: the place the interaction among the overall and the categorical, among neoliberalism and politicking, and among globalisation and native actors characterise the discussion.
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Additional resources for A Politics of Inevitability: The Privatisation of the Berlin Water Company, the Global City Discourse, and Governance in 1990s Berlin
It is fundamentally political. Privatisation and other policies rest upon normative not ontological claims about the world. The increasing prevalence of privatisation should be explained with reference to the potency of neo-liberalism. Privatisation may often be, as Barraque (2009, 245) states, opportunistic, in that governments may not be obviously driven by ‘ideological’ arguments, but simply want to raise money or sell a loss-making company. Obviously, the private sector also has an interest in promoting privatisation given the financial opportunities it provides.
In such accounts, the ‘political’, contestable character of privatisation disappears, obscured in particular by the apparent economic benefits to be had from its implementation. If there is contest and conflict, this is seen to be representative of economically unrealistic objectives, ‘outdated’ thinking or political dogma. Hence, the ‘there is no alternative’ mantra of Thatcher’s government. Throughout the 1990s supporters of privatisation presented it as a necessary response of government to economic globalisation: the apparent shift in the organisation of the global economy away from the system centred on and dominated by the traditional state (Swyngedouw 2004, 27).
G. Thrift 1999). The role of international institutions (such as the World Bank), the governments of major economies (particularly the USA) and the multinational companies themselves in promoting and imposing economic globalisation has also been stressed (for a discussion see Held and McGrew 2003). 11 The structural and discursive effects of globalisation and neo-liberalism were undoubtedly powerful in the 1990s (and continue to be so today). ) discourse (Peck and Tickell 2002, 34). The fundamental politico-economic re-alignments in the 1990s are, to some extent, captured by the widespread implementation of privatisation and the increasingly apolitical, commonsensical way in which its supporters presented it.