Ideological Motivations of Privatization in Great Britain Versus Developing Countries

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1997

Publication Title

Journal of International Affairs


Columbia University





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Privatization is one of the most significant worldwide economic, social and political phenomena of this and the previous decade. It has become the new economic mantra and will continue to exert influence on the lives of people in countries throughout the world well into the next century. Understanding what privatization is, how it works, its prevalence and the ideas and doctrines which underlie it is essential for politicians, government officials and their advisors who are considering adopting, or are currently managing, privatization programs.

This paper begins by tracing privatization's growth during the 1980s and 1990s and then reviews the history of nationalization, exploring its underlying ideology, as an antecedent to the initiation of privatization in the United Kingdom and developing countries. The discussion of nationalization in the United Kingdom and developing countries provides the context for why these nations adopted privatization as a key element of their economic reform programs. Finally, the paper explores the objectives, ideological motivations and results of the United Kingdom's privatization program and those of privatization programs in developing countries. This research should provide insight into why privatization has been so widely adopted by many types of governments throughout the world. It also may be valuable in providing fledgling privatization programs with useful information based on the experience of Great Britain and the developing countries.


Business | Law and Economics | Law and Politics | State and Local Government Law




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