From the Introduction
Although the general economic conditions in a globalised economy are subject less and less to the disposition by local actors and the budgetary scopes of manoeuvre depend mainly on the position within the overall state financial constitution, there remains the important question for the original political scopes for action of the city governments.
The public sector has special significance in the answer to this question, because the local state (region) in its function as employer and/or entrepreneur is subject to direct political influence. What decisions the Left participating in the local government takes with respect to the public sector and what governmental goals it pursues, shall be investigated and presented here in the following. Pushing back the role of the state as employer and/or entrepreneur, as producer of public goods, was and is the declared goal of neoliberal policy, whose keywords are privatisation, liberalisation, and deregulation. Where can policy intervene at a shifting border between state and private, between the community and the market and to the benefit of the public sector? The examples that are listed of this in the following reach from the recentralisation of London waste management to the “Vienna Water Charta” which dealt the privatisation of the communal water economy a decisive refusal.