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Privatization (Political Science)
The transfer of services or institutions from state to private ownership. Ernst Ulrich Weizacker and his colleagues, in Limits to Privatization (2005, p. 6), identified four broad categories of privatization: (1) putting state monopolies in competition with private, or other state, operators; (2) outsourcing, whereby governments pay private actors to perform previously state-provided activities and services; (3) private financing, in exchange for delegated management, often turning the institution back over to the government after a period of profitable use; and (4) transfer of publicly owned assets into private hands. Privatization efforts under debate in the United States include the sale of Amtrak, a universal school voucher system, and the privatization of prisons, or at least certain prison services, such as health. For more information, see ...