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Aid, Power, and Privatization

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Aid, Power, and Privatization

The Politics of Telecommunication Reform in Central America

9781845421748 Edward Elgar Publishing
Benedicte Bull, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, Norway
Publication Date: 2005 ISBN: 978 1 84542 174 8 Extent: 240 pp
This book provides a comparative study of the telecommunication reform process in three Central American countries – Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras – focusing on the roles of the local private sector and international financial institutions.

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Contents
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This book provides a comparative study of the telecommunication reform process in three Central American countries – Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras – focusing on the roles of the local private sector and international financial institutions.

By addressing the following questions, the book aims to understand the potential for the emergence of an autonomous and inclusive regulatory state:

• What has been the main driving force behind the wave of privatizations in Latin America?
• What has been the role of the international financial institutions (IFIs)?
• What kind of state emerges after privatization and regulatory reform?
• Why does privatization remain so unpopular?

The author discusses the historical role of telecommunications in state power, the sources of proposed, failed and implemented reforms, and the political processes determining their destiny. Benedicte Bull concludes that the reform processes in the three countries show significant variation. This is accounted for – not by the different relationship to the IFIs, but by the different relationships between the state and the private sector. The impact of this on the reform process is also the key to understanding the state’s capacity for post-reform regulation and the unpopularity of privatization.

Academics and students with an interest in Latin American studies, international political economy, comparative politics and development studies will find this book of great appeal.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book, as the author intended, does indeed shed light on the role of competing elites as well as the IFIs in shaping the resulting new political economy in Central America. It could not have come at a better time, since CAFTA is bringing the issue to the streets again in these and other countries of the region. This book is definitely a “must read” for all those interested in the topic.’
– Rodolfo Cerdas, Latin American Studies

‘This is an important and thought provoking book for the understanding of privatisation. The author perceptively identifies contradictions that emerge from the process and outcome of privatisation, and attempts to explain these through a comparative analysis of telecommunications reform in three Central American countries. The result is a carefully researched book that provides new insights into the politics of privatisation. It will be compelling reading for the student and practitioner alike.’
– Paul Cook, University of Manchester, UK
Contents
Contents: Preface 1. Privatization Puzzles 2. The Politics of Privatization 3. Guatemala: Privatization in a Captured State 4. Costa Rica: In Defense of the Welfare State 5. Honduras: Privatization in the Ritual Aid Dance 6. Comparisons and Conclusions: Privatization, Development and Legitimacy Bibliography Index
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