During the last decade, privatization, understood here as the transfer of state-owned enterprises to the private sector, has become a widespread phenomenon among formerly socialist and mixed economies. It has been touted as a quick route to growth and prosperity in countries suffering from bloated, inefficient, and debt ridden public sectors.
The contributors to this book, drawn from a number of social science disciplines, explore the various ways in which privatization programs affect workers in the reforming countries. The book includes an examination of how privatization impacts on labor economically, by changing the level and conditions of employment, as well as its influence on wages, benefits, and social services. A second section looks at the political effects of privatization on workers, focusing on the strength and militancy of trade unions and their relationship to political parties.
The essays, written by scholars as well as policy practitioners, cover both post-socialist countries, including Russia, China, and Eastern Europe, and the developing regions – the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. Scholars and students in economics and political science as well as policymakers will find this collection a welcome addition to the literature on privatization.