There is a vast literature for and against privatizing public services. Those who are against privatization are often confronted with the objection that they present no alternative. This book takes up that challenge by establishing theoretical models for what does (and does not) constitute an alternative to privatization, and what might make them ‘successful’, backed up by a comprehensive set of empirical data on public services initiatives in over 40 countries. This is the first such global survey of its kind, providing a rigorous and robust platform for evaluating different alternatives and allowing for comparisons across regions and sectors. The book helps to conceptualize and evaluate what has become an important and widespread movement for better public services in the global South. The contributors explore historical, existing and proposed non-commercialized alternatives for primary health, water/sanitation and electricity. The objectives of the research have been to develop conceptual and methodological frameworks for identifying and analyzing alternatives to privatization, and testing these models against actually existing alternatives on the ground in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Information of this type is urgently required for practitioners and analysts, both of whom are seeking reliable knowledge on what kind of public models work, how transferable they are from one place to another and what their main strengths and weaknesses are.

chapter 1|15 pages


In Search of Alternatives to Privatization
ByDavid A. McDonald, Greg Ruiters

chapter 2|26 pages

Weighing the Options

Methodological Considerations
ByDavid A. McDonald, Greg Ruiters

part I|138 pages

Actors, Issues and Ideologies

chapter 3|26 pages

Terrains of Neoliberalism

Constraints and Opportunities for Alternative Models of Service Delivery
ByBen Fine, David Hall

chapter 4|28 pages

Transformative Resistance

The Role of Labour and Trade Unions in Alternatives to Privatization
ByHilary Wainwright

chapter 5|34 pages

Gendering Justice, Building Alternative Futures

ByChandra Talpade Mohanty, Sarah Miraglia

chapter 6|24 pages

Social Movement Struggles for Public Services

BySusan Spronk, Philipp Terhorst

chapter 7|24 pages

Careful What You Ask For

State-Led Alternatives to Privatization
ByDavid A. McDonald, Greg Ruiters

part II|307 pages

Sectoral and Regional Reviews

chapter |4 pages


Regional Overview
ByJenina Joy Chavez

chapter 8|35 pages

Creating, Reclaiming, Defending

Non-Commercialized Alternatives in the Health Sector in Asia
ByAmit Sengupta

chapter 9|34 pages

Springs of Hope

Alternatives to Commercialization of Water Resources and Services in Asia
ByBuenaventura Dargantes, Cheryl Batistel, Mary Ann Manahan

chapter 10|28 pages

The Public in Asia Power

ByNepomuceno Malaluan

chapter |6 pages


Regional Overview
ByGreg Ruiters

chapter 11|29 pages

African Triage

Assessing Alternatives to Health Care Privatization South of the Sahara
ByYoswa M. Dambisya, Hyacinth Eme Ichoku

chapter 12|34 pages

Where Have All the Alternatives Gone?

The Shrinking of African Water Policy Options
ByKate Bayliss, Al-Hassan Adam

chapter 13|35 pages

Electrifying Africa

Turning a Continental Challenge into a People's Opportunity
ByTerri Hathaway

chapter |4 pages

Latin America and the Caribbean

Regional Overview
BySusan Spronk

chapter 14|29 pages

Progressive Alternatives in Primary Health Care in Latin America

ByLuis Ortiz Hernández, Iliana Camacho Cuapio, Catalina Eibenschutz Hartman, Silvia Tamez González

chapter 15|32 pages

Struggles for Water Justice in Latin America

Public and ‘Social-Public' Alternatives
BySusan Spronk, Carlos Crespo, Marcela Olivera

chapter 16|35 pages

Alternatives in the Electricity Sector in Latin America

ByDaniel Chavez

part III|16 pages

Looking Ahead

chapter 17|14 pages


Ways Forward for Alternatives in Health, Water and Electricity
ByDavid A. McDonald, Greg Ruiters