The Transnational Institute (TNI), in cooperation with the Municipal Services Project (MSP) and the Latin American Programme for Distance Education in Social Sciences (PLED) is offering a free web-based course on Alternatives to Privatisation: Non-Commercial Public Services Options in the Global South. The course will begin on 8 October 2012 and will comprise a series of eight weekly sessions.
Amongst many other analyses and debates, the more extensive awareness of the active role of the state and of states in the purportedly highly successful 'market economies' in East Asia and South East Asia is bringing discussion of the role of state back into quite mainstream development discourse.
The massive concentration and growth of corporate power poses a major threat to what remains of public services, highlighting the ever-deepening crisis of democracy, and the urgent need for people to reclaim the state.
The ideological reasoning behind UK government policies is that the market is the only way to make public services 'efficient'. Isn't it time we talked about social efficiency, maximising public benefit rather than maximising profit?
The institutions that are supposed to reproduce daily life are incapable of acting on behalf of the people any more, so we need to produce our own institutional alternatives based on micro-experiments and universal values.
Reclaim the State sets out on a journey from Brazil to Britain to discover how people are creating new, stronger forms of democracy. The book shows that the foundations for new political directions for deepening democracy already exist, and provides imaginative and practical tools for building on them.
"A fascinating and lively account of how it is by strengthening democracy, involving workers and citizens we can transform our public services. It truly kicks privatisation into touch!" (Baroness Helena Kennedy)