Forthcoming in our June 2016 issue (volume 48, number 3), and available on Early View now, Julien Mercille and Enda Murphy’s “Conceptualising European Privatisation Processes After the Great Recession” looks at the wave of privatisation unfolding in Europe in the wake of the financial crisis. Focusing on the case of Ireland, where an austerity strategy and EU/IMF bailout conditionality have given impetus to the transfer of public assets to the private sector, the paper seeks to explain the roots of the phenomenon with reference to a reformulated concept of “accumulation by dispossession” – one that emphasises the politico-economic drivers of privatisation, which have thus far been neglected in the mainstream literature.
The authors argue that accumulation by dispossession manifests itself, in practice, through four main processes: [i] private repossession of assets nationalised during the financial crisis; [ii] restructuring of state-owned enterprises; [iii] commodification of assets and services hitherto located outside the market; and [iv] privatised stimulus through public-private partnerships. Their framework, they hope, should be useful to those striving to conceptualise ongoing privatisation processes in other European countries.
You can watch Julien and Enda discusing their paper below, and below that read more about their research…
Julien Mercille (School of Geography, University College Dublin) works on global politics, international political economy, US foreign policy, media studies, and the “war on drugs”. His publications include the books The Political Economy and Media Coverage of the European Economic Crisis: The Case of Ireland (Routledge, 2015) and Cruel Harvest: US Intervention in the Afghan Drug Trade (Pluto, 2012), and papers in Critical Sociology, Space and Polity, the Cambridge Journal of Economics, New Political Economy, and Latin American Perspectives, and he has made numerous more public interventions, as a regular analyst and commentator on television and radio and in a number of newspapers and websites.
His latest book, Deepening Neoliberalism, Austerity, and Crisis: Europe’s Treasure Ireland (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), was written with his Antipode co-author Enda Murphy (School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin). Enda works on urban transportation and spatial planning, environmental noise, neoliberalisation and crises, and related issues. He has published in Applied Acoustics, Environment and Planning B, Geoforum, Critical Sociology, and Cities, among many other places.