Privatisation in the European Union

pp 45-81

The End of Public Enterprises in Europe?

  • Judith CliftonAffiliated withUniversidad de OviedoOpen University and University of Leeds
  • , Francisco ComínAffiliated withUniversidad de Alcalá de Henares
  • , Daniel Díaz FuentesAffiliated withUniversidad de Cantabria

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Many analysts agree that the 1970s marked a rupture with the post-war economic model characterised by a mixed economy guided by State regulation based on Keynesian policies.1 The new model of global political economy that emerged was characterised by deregulation, liberalisation and privatisation policies. In this new regime, markets were promoted, while governments were encouraged to ‘roll back’ their intervention into business.2 Some of the most extreme interpretations of this change were that this new phase of globalisation meant the end of the Nation State and economic nationalism that had been dominant since the nineteenth century.3 Also, from a regional perspective, the policies of privatisation, deregulation and liberalisation within the EU (as well as the Americas and Asia) were explained by the redefinition of economic blocs in certain geographical zones, rather than by global market forces.