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Electricity Reform in China, India and Russia

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Electricity Reform in China, India and Russia

The World Bank Template and the Politics of Power

9781843765004 Edward Elgar Publishing
Xu Yi-chong, Griffith University, Australia
Publication Date: 2004 ISBN: 978 1 84376 500 4 Extent: 384 pp
Examining the reform and restructuring of the electricity industry in China, India and Russia, this book explores the way that local conditions and institutions shape the commitment, direction and speed of public utility reform in the three countries. It questions the validity of the argument that one model for electricity reforms will work in all countries, on the grounds that the industry is the same everywhere, by examining the World Bank’s involvement in economic reforms in developing and transition economies.

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Examining the reform and restructuring of the electricity industry in China, India and Russia, this book explores the way that local conditions and institutions shape the commitment, direction and speed of public utility reform in the three countries. It questions the validity of the argument that one model for electricity reforms will work in all countries, on the grounds that the industry is the same everywhere, by examining the World Bank’s involvement in economic reforms in developing and transition economies.

The author asks how the template developed by the World Bank has affected the three countries and seeks to explain why changes took place, how effectively they have been proceeding, and what the consequences are for these countries. In so doing, Electricity Reform in China, India and Russia challenges both the assumption behind the new reform paradigm – that market competition is the panacea for all the ills of the electricity industry – and the oft-cited belief that a single template can work in different environments.

China, India and Russia have different political and economic systems and at different development stages. Xu Yi-chong uses the experience of the three countries to illustrate the complications created by the use of a single template, a policy encouraged by the World Bank, to direct reform and the need to appreciate the different problems that each had to overcome.

Academics and students who are interested in comparative politics, comparative economics, public policy and particularly the reform of public utilities will find this work of great interest, as will practitioners and those who are involved in restructuring the electricity industry worldwide.
Critical Acclaim
‘The book provides a useful and stimulating view of a controversy that will stay with us for many years – not least because governments will be trying to work out how, having taken the initial steps toward reform, to move ahead.’
– Philip Andrews-Speed, Far Eastern Economic Review

‘This is an excellent book. The author has taken up three enormous countries, the world’s two most populous and the largest in area, and examined electricity reform in them. Economics is only one of the disciplines used, with appeals also to law, politics and history. The author comes up with a conclusion that is quite critical of the processes of corporatisation and privatisation that have dominated reform in electricity and much less enthusiastic than the conventional wisdom of economists. The book includes references to many countries other than China, India and Russia, and is arranged topically, not country by country, which brings out the comparative nature of the study and makes it more interesting and convincing. This book is insightful, unconventional even provocative, brilliantly argued, highly scholarly, thickly documented, wide-ranging and timely. All those with policy-making, specialist or generalist interest in this critically important area should read this splendid book.’
– Colin Mackerras, Griffith University, Australia
Contents
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Electricity Reform: Changing the Consensus 3. Building Electricity System 4. Initiating Changes 5. Ownership Reform 6. Structural Reform 7. Regulatory Reform 8. Reform Complications 9. Conclusion References Index
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