By Ross Beveridge
This booklet presents a close research of the debatable privatisation of the Berlin Water corporation (BWB) in 1999. As with different situations of privatisation all over the world, the city’s govt argued there has been no replacement in a context of public money owed and monetary restructuring. Drawing on post-structuralist conception, the research provided the following steps outdoors the parameters of this neat, easy clarification. It problematises the ‘hard evidence’ upon which the choice was once it appears made, proposing in its place an account within which evidence should be political structures formed via normative assumptions and political recommendations. A politics of inevitability in Nineteen Nineties Berlin is printed; one characterized by way of depoliticisation, expert-dominated coverage methods and concentrated upon the perceived must haves of city governance within the international financial system. it really is an account during which international and native dynamics combine: the place the interaction among the final and the categorical, among neoliberalism and politicking, and among globalisation and native actors characterise the discussion.
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Extra info for A Politics of Inevitability: The Privatisation of the Berlin Water Company, the Global City Discourse, and Governance in 1990s Berlin
This is done with reference to the interpretative policy analysis literature, particularly the work of Maarten Hajer, Frank Fischer and Dvora Yanow. ‘Facts’ are shown to be influenced by normative assumptions and strategies of action. Experts are highlighted as being central to the production of facts in politics. With the rise of neo-liberalism, and more particularly ‘managerialism’ in government, private sector consultants have become more influential in policymaking. The relationships between knowledge, values and policy-making The contestation of existing political practices and the reforms that sometimes emerge from them is a defining feature of governing in democracies.
Further, they aimed to make Berlin a ‘global city’. It was in the pursuit of this objective that the influence of neo-liberal discourse can be discerned. Urban governance in 1990s Berlin can, in part, be seen as a project of conforming to global norms of urban governance. This study of a privatisation of a water company, located within the context of ‘inevitable’ socio-economic restructuring of the Berlin economy, is then emblematic of the wider political and economic context of the 1990s. As Peck and Tickell (2002, 34) state, it was a period in which neo-liberalism became the “commonsense of the times”.
It is fundamentally political. Privatisation and other policies rest upon normative not ontological claims about the world. The increasing prevalence of privatisation should be explained with reference to the potency of neo-liberalism. Privatisation may often be, as Barraque (2009, 245) states, opportunistic, in that governments may not be obviously driven by ‘ideological’ arguments, but simply want to raise money or sell a loss-making company. Obviously, the private sector also has an interest in promoting privatisation given the financial opportunities it provides.
A Politics of Inevitability: The Privatisation of the Berlin Water Company, the Global City Discourse, and Governance in 1990s Berlin by Ross Beveridge