"Public Futures" global de-privatisation database launched

On 26 February, PSI joined the University of Glasgow and the Transnational Institute in the launch of “Public Futures”, the world’s most comprehensive de-privatisation database.

The online tool represents a major asset for the pro-public services movement, as it is an evidence-based resource on remunicipalisation that helps strengthen the pro-public narrative towards neoliberal pro-privatisation dogmas.

Public Futures is a collaborative initiative between the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the research project GLOBALMUN at the University of Glasgow led by Prof. Andrew Cumbers and his team. It builds on the work and research conducted by TNI since 2014 in collaboration with partners, among which PSI and its affiliates.

It will give confidence to people that they can take back control of their lives and of their own communities and they can do that through public ownership and democratic control

The launch event featured the participation of John McDonnell, UK Labour MP and former UK Shadow Chancellor who said:

“The collaboration between the University of Glasgow, TNI and PSI is particularly important. It will serve all of us who are working towards that new wave of municipal public democratic ownership and control. It will give confidence to people that they can take back control of their lives and of their own communities and they can do that through public ownership and democratic control. At the local state level that means remunicipalisation”.

Prof. Andrew Cumbers said: “There has been a massive blind spot about remunicipalisation. The OECD, the EU and the IMF have not even acknowledged remunicipalisation as a global trend. There are almost no official data. So what is in this database basically is almost all that exists (…). Mainstream business and the corporate establishment do not want to hear that privatisation has failed, that there are alternatives, and that these alternatives take assets and resources away from them”.

Daria Cibrario, PSI Officer for Local and Regional Government said: “PSI is pleased to continue to contribute to this collective effort to change and shift the narrative and to showcase that remunicipalisation is not just a dream but is a viable, reliable and possible policy option for any government especially at a local level and at this time of crisis. More than ever, this is the time to reclaim public services for people, not for profit”.

The full launch event can be viewed here.

Video

"Public Futures" launch webinar

Public Futures is publicly accessible and pulls together all existing data and information on:

  • Remunicipalisation: where the ownership of services and/or infrastructure is returned to the public at a local level.

  • Municipalisation: where new public services and/or infrastructure are established to prevent or reverse privatisation.

  • Renationalisation: where the ownership of services and/or infrastructure is returned to the public at a national level.

The online tool captured cases where:

  • public authorities (municipal, intermunicipal, regional, or national governments and public institutions) conduct (re)municipalisation

  • public authorities partner with other public actors (civil society organisations, trade unions, workers, or cooperatives) to do so

Public Futures is regularly updated with new occurrences and analysis. It can be fed new cases upon registration of voluntary contributors. Cases are then screened and approved by the GLOBALMUN team based on relevance and information accuracy and quality. It can be used to generate statistics, country profiles and de-privatisation data analysis.

PSI affiliates can continue to help building an evidence-based pro-public service narrative by: