Marketization, Public Services and the City: The Potential for Polanyian Counter Movements
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ABSTRACT. Marketization of urban service delivery gained renewed intensity in the crisis. Mobilizing Polanyi’s concept of the double movement, we analyze how marketization of public services both creates and constrains the potential for urban counter movements in the USA and Europe. We identify three main urban responses: “hollowing out” where cities engage in service cut backs, “riding the wave” where cities attempt to harness the market, and “push backs” where citizen movements oppose marketization. Although the city is constrained by marketization at national and international levels, we find evidence of push back and, in it, the potential for public service alternatives.
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