How privatization threatens the private

Across countries, governments are urging civil society, in particular charitable and non-profit associations, to take up a part of the social burden, and to produce and provide critical human services and social goods, either independently or on governments' behalf. This type of privatization, or public?private partnership, is encouraged by many on grounds of pluralism and liberty, as empowering individuals and their associations. In this paper, I aim to provide a liberty-based normative argument against privatization. A common view, supported by both conservatives and classical liberals, is that the more social responsibility is left or delegated to civil society, the more civil society will flourish. I contend, by contrast, that when political societies rely on civil society to provide critical goods and services, individuals' freedom of association is threatened. The consequence of privatization is a multiple loss, in terms of individual freedom, value pluralism and the expressive character of civil society
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    John Rawls (1993). Political Liberalism. Columbia University Press.

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