On 20 June 2023, OU Economics hosted a seminar to discuss privatisation policies, which continue to be heavily promoted worldwide. We had the pleasure to hear from David Hall (from minute 0:04:25 onwards), Rosie Collington (0:25:45 onwards) and Anne Le Strat (0:44:15 onwards). A Q&A session followed the presentations (1:08:35 until end).
Privatisation policies have been heavily promoted worldwide by governments and international agencies using the claim that markets will do better at allocating resources and improve inefficient and under-invested public sector systems.
What happens when expectations are woefully unfulfilled and replaced by the realities of corporate corruption, price and profit hikes, social exclusion and job losses, neglect, accidents and loss of lives?
How have people resisted privatisation and reclaimed public provision of services? What can we learn from recent experiences of remunicipalisation of key public services?
The Open University Economics Seminar Series will host David Hall, Visiting Professor in the Business School, University of Greenwich, Rosie Collington from University College London’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, and Anne Le Strat, former Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of water, sanitation and canals.
Rosie Collington is co-author of The Big Con: How the Consulting Industry Weakens our Businesses, Infantilises our Governments and Warps our Economies. She is a PhD candidate at University College London’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, where she researches the political economy of the state in climate governance.
David Hall is a Visiting Professor in the Business School, University of Greenwich, London. From 2000-2013 he was Director of the Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU). He researches the politics and economics of public services, public finance, privatisation and PPPs, in water, energy, waste management, healthcare and other sectors – globally, in Europe, and in the UK.
He has published numerous PSIRU reports , articles in academic journals, book chapters, and two books. He was co-organiser of the Shifting Narratives conference in 2022; coordinator of the Watertime project, an EU-funded 3-year research project on water in 29 cities across Europe; and led a 2-year research project on corruption, funded by the Wallace Global Foundation.
He has been an invited speaker at seminars and conferences at over 40 universities and research institutes around the world; has worked with social movements, civil society organisations and trade unions internationally and in over 50 countries, on all continents; and has been a guest lecturer at the World Bank infrastructure division, and invited to speak at meetings of UNDESA, OECD, UNCTAD, ILO, the global congress of Consumers International, the Asian-European People’s Forum, and a Moodys investors conference.
Anne Le Strat PhD. in Geopolitics, is a policymaker, consultant, and lecturer. As a former Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of water, sanitation and canals, and as Chair of Eau de Paris, the Parisian water operator, she successfully led the reform of remunicipalization, creating one single publicly-owned water operator in charge of the whole water cycle.
For thirteen years (2001-2014), she led a new water policy in Paris, focused on economic, social, environmental and democratic sustainability, and was accompanied by many innovative initiatives.
In 2008 she co-founded and chaired Aqua Publica Europea (European publicly-owned water and sanitation operators network). Living abroad (first in East Asia, then in the US) between 2015 and 2022, she worked as a consultant and lecturer. She was a Research Fellow at NYU and is actually a Senior Consultant for GWOPA-UN.Habitat. She authored or co-authored several books and papers about water management and water policy.