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Water and Sanitation Utilities in the Global South: Re-centering the Debate on “Efficiency”


This paper assesses the ideological arguments that sustain the belief that the private sector is more efficient than the public, which persist despite ambiguous empirical evidence. It argues that the privatization agenda rests on normative assumptions about “economic efficiency” that fail to adequately address the social goals of water and sanitation provision. The debate on “efficiency” should therefore be re-centered to consider “social efficiency” and the negative effect that privatization has on citizenship rights.

Susan Spronk
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Review of Radical Political Economics, 42(2): 156-174
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