A Politics of Inevitability: The Privatisation of the Berlin by Ross Beveridge

By Ross Beveridge

This booklet presents an in depth research of the arguable privatisation of the Berlin Water corporation (BWB) in 1999. As with different instances of privatisation worldwide, the city’s govt argued there has been no substitute in a context of public money owed and financial restructuring. Drawing on post-structuralist idea, the research provided right here steps open air the parameters of this neat, simple clarification. It problematises the ‘hard evidence’ upon which the choice was once it seems that made, featuring as a substitute an account within which proof will be political structures formed through normative assumptions and political suggestions. A politics of inevitability in Nineties Berlin is published; one characterized by means of depoliticisation, expert-dominated coverage techniques and targeted upon the perceived prerequisites of city governance within the worldwide economic climate. it really is an account during which international and native dynamics combine: the place the interaction among the final and the explicit, among neoliberalism and politicking, and among globalisation and native actors characterise the discussion.

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Extra resources for A Politics of Inevitability: The Privatisation of the Berlin Water Company, the Global City Discourse, and Governance in 1990s Berlin

Sample text

Despite numerous efforts, it was not possible to interview senior CDU politicians working at the Economy Senate. This can probably be attributed to the CDU’s involvement in the Banking Scandal of 2001, which led to the collapse of the CDU-led coalition government. To balance this, a CDU politician working at the Finance Senate was interviewed. Given the continuing controversy surrounding the partial privatisation, the names of all interviewees have been anonymised. There are, of course, problems with relying on interviews as the primary source of empirical data, particularly with participants involved in highly controversial policy process that occurred some time ago.

Cities are characterised as being in competition with each other to become sites of strategic functions and services in global markets: to 44 be seen as key sites of globalisation or internationalisation (Cochrane and Passmore 2001, 341). The specific roles cities play in globalisation and how they become seen as key nodes is at the centre of the academic debate on the subject. In perhaps the best known account, Sassen’s (2001) “global city” is defined by its concentration of major businesses, especially in the finance sector, which results in it becoming a control centre in global markets.

An early set-back was the unsuccessful attempt to merge Berlin with the surrounding region and state, Land Brandenburg. In a referendum on the subject in 1996, the majority of voters in East Berlin and Brandenburg voted against it, rejecting the vision of a global or European city-region put forward by politicians and private sector urban marketing firms (Cochrane and Passmore 2001, 345). Such failures did not, however, lead the government of Berlin to consider alternatives. As will be shown, the global city aspiration remained intact throughout the 1990s despite mounting economic problems.

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