12 May 2020Book
Resistance to privatisation has turned into a powerful force for change. (Re)municipalisation refers to the reclaiming of public ownership of services as well as the creation of new public services. In recent years, our research has identified more than 1,400 successful (re)municipalisation cases involving more than 2,400 cities in 58 countries around the world. EditorsSatoko Kishimoto, Lavinia Steinfort, Olivier PetitjeanIn collaboration withMultinationals Observatory, Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour (AK), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Danish Union of Public Employees (FOA), De 99 Van Amsterdam, The Democracy Collaborative, European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU), Ingeniería Sin Fronteras Cataluña (ISF), MODATIMA (Movement of defence of water, land and the environment), Municipal Services Project, Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging (FNV), Norwegian Union for Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet), Public Services International (PSI), Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU), University of Glasgow, We Own ItISBN/ISSN
But this book is about more than just numbers. It shows that public services are more important than ever in the face of the climate catastrophe, mounting inequalities, and growing political unrest. Together, civil society organisations, trade unions, and local authorities are crafting new templates for how to expand democratic public ownership to all levels of society and opening up new routes to community-led and climate conscious public services.
The Covid-19 crisis has made clear the disastrous effects of years of austerity, social security cuts, and public service privatisation. But it has also demonstrated that public services and the people who operate them are truly the foundation of healthy and resilient societies. As privatisation fails, a growing international movement is choosing (re)municipalisation as a key tool for redefining public ownership for the 21st century.
Find the Public Futures Global database here.
Table of contents
Infographics – (Re)municipalisation 11 country profiles
(click for enlargement)
Part 1. Reclaiming public services around the world
Chapter 1 Norway: Bankruptcy sparks more than 100 cases of remunicipalisation– By Nina Monsen and Bjørn Pettersen
Chapter 2 Paris celebrates a decade of public water success – By Célia Blauel
Chapter 3 Canada: Local insourcing in face of national privatisation push – By Robert Ramsay
Chapter 5 Africa: Private waste service failure and alternative vision – By Vera Weghmann
Chapter 7 Putting the ‘public’ in public services: (Re)municipalisation cases in Malaysia and the Philippines – By Mary Ann Manahan and Laura Stegemann
Chapter 9 United States: Communities providing affordable, fast broadband Internet – By Thomas M. Hanna and Christopher Mitchell
Part 2. From (re)municipalisation to democratic public ownership
Chapter 10 A new water culture: Catalonia’s public co-governance model in the making – By Míriam Planas and Juan Martínez
Chapter 11 The empire strikes back: Corporate responses to remunicipalisation – By Olivier Petitjean
Chapter 14 Transforming the state: Towards democracy-driven public ownership – By Hilary Wainwright
Conclusion by the Editorial TeamDownload: The future is public: Towards democratic ownership of public services(pdf, 9.59 MB)Executive summary – The future is public(pdf, 4.25 MB)Average time to read: 15 minutes
Download: The future is public: Towards democratic ownership of public services(pdf, 9.59 MB)Executive summary – The future is public(pdf, 4.25 MB)Average time to read: 15 minutes
The COVID-19 crisis and the ongoing climate catastrophe show that it’s time for a Green New Deal that funds equitable public futures. It’s time to dismantle the fossil fuel industry, to rebuild democracies and essential services and value workers as the cornerstones of our societies. This book is a vital global guide for our time, for local governments and people’s movements to build socially just futures from the ground up.
Now is the time to design a feminist bailout that serves people, not corporations. The COVID-19 crisis shows we are only as safe, healthy and resilient as the most oppressed among us. This is an absolute must-read for everyone fighting for feminist realities, where public services are run by collective power and care for both human and non-human life.
Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
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- Towards a comprehensive analysis of South Africa’s electricity sector, the necessary energy transition, and the role of a radically reformed public utility14 May 2019Other newsTNI is working with the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC), Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED), and South Africa’s National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in developing a road map to establish a new public electricity system based on a progressive restructuring of Eskom, the country’s state-owned power company. To this end, a Reference Group has been set up with researchers from these organisations.
- Organising for energy democracy in the face of austerityJackson Koeppel12 April 2019ArticleIn 2012, citizens from Highland Park, Michigan came together to form Soulardarity in response to the repossession of over 1,000 streetlights from their city. Their goal is to organise for community-owned solar street lights, energy production and equitable development. Since its formation, Soulardarity has installed seven solar streetlights and deployed over US$ 30,000 worth of solar technology in Highland Park and the surrounding communities through the PowerUP bulk purchasing programme. The group has also organised advocacy at the city and state levels for regulation, policy and local political leadership to support community ownership, transparency and environmental responsibility.Soulardarity also advocates for a Community Ownership Power Administration (COPA) as part of the growing call in the United States for a Green New Deal to tackle climate change, economic inequality and racial injustice.
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- Energy democracy and public ownershipDaniel Chavez04 December 2018ArticleUruguay and Costa Rica are world leaders in clean, public, democratically accountable energy. Their success owes much to state-owned companies with the power to drive systemic change.
- Ecofeminism: fueling the journey to energy democracyLavinia Steinfort12 September 2018ArticleThe growing call for the feminisation of politics – and energy politics for that matter – is about much more than merely increasing the representation of women in decision-making positions. We need to question the ways energy politics are shaped. We need to ask, energy for whom and energy for what?
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- Podcast: Energy Democracy! Building movements to create solutionsFriends of the Earth Europe22 January 2018Multi-mediaHow can clean and renewable energy remain in people’s hands? Listen to energy experts and activists from all over Europe discussing energy efficiency, cooperatives, mobility, remunicipalisation and much more.
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- Resistance in Honduras03 February 2017 – EventJoin us to hear Tomas Gomez Membreno, the current coordinator of the Honduran organisation COPINH, share the story of his community’s struggle.
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- Democratising energy – an online peer learning course02 November 2016 – EventTNI is hosting with Platform London a 6-week pilot online peer learning course on energy democracy. The course will include lectures by experts and practitioners along with discussion and active participation, sharing and learning by all participants. It is intended for people who have some experience in working on energy systems, who wish to take a holistic and global look at energy systems and politics, and learn from others. Deadline has passed (3 October), but feel free to register to be on waiting list or for the next course.
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- Towards Energy Democracy
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- Le paradis des pollueurs08 December 2015ReportLes accords de commerce et d’investissement sont un obstacle à la transition énergétique nécessaire à la lutte contre le changement climatique, car ils limitent la capacité des gouvernements de déterminer leurs politiques dans tous les domaines.
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- Polluters’ Paradise(pdf, 1.21 MB)Average time to read: 20 min
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- Bioenergy Declaration(pdf, 180.26 KB)Average time to read: 3 min
- The meaning, relevance and scope of energy democracyDaniel Chavez09 October 2015ArticleWhat does the concept of energy democracy offer to the struggle against climate change and energy poverty?
- Activists oppose Guatemala dam being backed by Spanish company26 June 2015In the mediaDeutsche Welle – The arrival of transnational dam-builders in Guatemala is threatening cultural and natural riches. DW met with activists in Berlin, who are asking Europeans to reexamine exactly what such “green energy” entails.
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