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Public and Social Services in Europe : From Public and Municipal to Private Sector Provision
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This book presents comparative analyses and accounts of the institutional changes that have occurred to the local level delivery of public utilities and personal social services in countries across Europe. Guided by a common conceptual frame and written by leading country experts, the book pursues a “developmental” approach to consider how the public/municipal sector-centred institutionalization of service delivery (climaxing in the 1970s) developed through its New Public Management-inspired and European Union market liberalization-driven restructuring of the 1980s and early 1990s. The book also discusses the most recent phase since the late 1990s, which has been marked by further marketization and privatization of service delivery on the one hand, and some return to public sector provision (“remunicipalization”) on the other. By comprising some 20 European countries, including Central East European “transformation” countries as well as the “sovereign debt”-stricken countries of Southern Europe, the chapters of this volume cover a much broader cross section of countries than other recent publications on the same subject.