Journal of Consumer Policy

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 21–45 | Cite as

Third sector and co-operative services — An alternative to privatization

  • Victor A. Pestoff


There is a growing political and fiscal urgency in Sweden for renewing the public sector and enriching the welfare state. Neither of the protagonists in the current debate about public or private social services takes third sector alternatives nor the potential contribution they could make into account. Three such contributions are empowerment of consumers, renewal and enrichment of working life, and enhancement of goal fulfillment in the public sector through third sector cooperative alternatives. All three of these contributions are also objectives for renewing the public sector and enriching the welfare state. Reasons for failing to consider the contribution of third sector alternatives to these objectives may be partly ideological and partly due to ignorance. But whatever the reason, there are numerous theoretical and practical implications for promoting third sector alternatives for achieving both public and private goals. This article argues that each of the three types of third sector alternatives discussed herein makes a direct contribution to one or more of these objectives, while it also contributes indirectly to the other two. There are also certain disadvantages or trade-offs associated with each alternative and objective, which are discussed herein.


Public Sector Economic Policy Social Service Practical Implication Welfare State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Tertiärer Sektor und gemeinnützige Dienstleistungen — eine Alternative zur Privatisierung. In Schweden gibt es einen wachsenden politischen und fiskalischen Druck für eine Erneuerung des öffentlichen Sektors und für eine Stärkung des Wohlfahrtstaates. Dabei fällt auf, da\ keiner der Protagonisten der derzeitigen Diskussion über öffentliche und private soziale Dienste die besonderen Möglichkeiten des tertiären Sektors und seine potentiellen Beiträge würdigt oder berücksichtigt. Zu diesen Beiträgen gehören die Aufwertung des Verbrauchers, die Erneuerung und Anreicherung des Arbeitslebens oder die bessere Zielerreichung im öffentlichen Sektor. Diese Beiträge sind zugleich aber auch Ziele der Erneuerung des öffentlichen Sektors und der Aufwertung des Wohlfahrtstaates. Grunde dafür, da\ die Möglichkeiten des tertiären Sektors zur Erreichung dieser Ziele übersehen werden, sind teilweise ideologischer Art, teilweise beruhen sie aber auch auf Unkenntnis. Welcher Grund auch immer ma\gebend ist — es gibt zahlreiche theoretische und praktische Gründe dafür, die Aktivitäten des tertiären Sektors zur Erreichung öffentlicher Ziele stärker zu unterstützen. Der Beitrag behandelt nicht nur, welche Aktivitäten des tertiären Sektors in welcher Form zu welchen dieser Ziele beitragen, sondern prüft auch, welche Nachteile oder trade-offs, bestehen können.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor A. Pestoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Business AdministrationUniversity of StockholmStockholmSweden

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