Israel’s privatization policy since the 1980s has changed Israeli society and its economy more than any other reform. This is not just an issue of economics; privatization is closely linked to the notion of what relations should exist between the state and its citizens.
Privatization Policy in Israel: State Responsibility and the Boundaries between the Public and the Private is the result of research that began in 2007 at the Yaacov Chazan Center for Social Justice and Democracy, at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, as part of a broad interdisciplinary project. The book discusses economic and political theories and examines the state’s areas of responsibility, the shifting of the boundaries between public and private, and the state’s regulatory tools. The book also examines privatization steps taken in areas including infrastructure, education, health, pensions, and human resources. The articles have a single analytical framework, which shows that the areas under discussion are not separate; they have a common denominator that reflects the nature of Israel’s privatization policy.
The book does not attempt to argue that every privatization is necessarily bad, but it does reject the widespread assumption that all privatization is good. According to this approach, the point of departure for a consideration of privatization should be that the burden of proof lies on those who seek to move the boundary between the public and the private.