Transfer stimulates dialogue between the European trade union movement and the academic and research community. It contributes research findings on issues of strategic relevance for trade unions, in particular with regard to developments at the European level. Transfer publishes original peer-reviewed research on issues such as new developments in industrial relations, social policy, and labour market developments.

Volume 8 Issue 2, Summer 2002

There can be little doubt that the liberalisation of public services − a term that covers a whole range of measures from outright privatisation to forms of regulated competition in areas formerly under state ownership and control − has been one of the most pervasive and significant developments in global political economy of the past twenty years: pervasive because it has spread, in diverse forms, throughout the industrialised and increasingly also the developing world, driven not only by governments but also by international organisations such as the OECD and, importantly in our context, the European Union (EU); significant because it marks the reversal of a secular trend that had characterised the twentieth century towards an extension of direct state involvement in the economy and the provision of public services and goods.

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