About Public Sector Alternatives

The Public Alternatives project works to build a strong countervailing force that reverses privatisation and helps construct democratic, accountable and effective public services. The project is also exploring the potential of other state-owned enterprises to lead an alternative, more human-centred and environmentally-sensitive development approach.

The Public Service Alternatives (‘New Politics’) is part of the Economic Justice, Corporate Power and Alternatives Programme and seeks to improve public services and strengthen democracy by empowering workers and citizens to take back control of our economic and political institutions.

Read more about the programme activities in our annual reports.

Working together with partners in critical networks and movements in particular in Latin America, Europe, East Asia, and Southern Africa, TNI’s Public Services and Democracy Programme aims to:

  • Work with actors both within state institutions and in social movements to strengthen popular sovereignty, especially at a local and regional level, generalising the innovations where appropriate to a national level. This includes the development of a network of municipalities and civil society organisations working for popular sovereignty, as well as the critical analysis of the limits of ‘participatory’ institutions that serve merely to legitimate the existing order and diffuse movements for genuine change. 
  • Provide research support for public sector workers, managers and citizens developing positive alternatives to reform and improve public services and the social efficiency of public sector institutions. The forms of such reforms vary  but share the common aim of releasing and developing the capacity of public sector staff through strong workers' organisations and democratic management. 
  • Work with activists in social movements (including organisations of labour)  and those engaged in building parties of a new kind to explore the problems and potential of rethinking political organisation, the conditions for success and the reasons for failure of experiments so far.
  • Create a space for the development and debate of ‘networked politics’ which draws on innovations and metaphors from the open software community and open web communities, as well as insights from the experiences of social movements and political parties. 
  • Work with engaged intellectuals and activists to understand the implications of the current economic crisis for developing new political institutions.