Nationalization or Privatization? The Fragmentation of the Mainstream

30 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2017

Date Written: March 2017


The 2008 global crisis brought about curiously inconsistent changes in state ownership: asset sales by governments and purchases of private stocks increased sharply and simultaneously. These concurrent instances of nationalization and privatization, on a major scale in historical terms, deserve attention. The paper examines why both now seem appropriate tools for crisis management in Europe and in the USA. It also estimates the scale of changes after 2008. The author argues that the rapid alternation, including parallel applications and mixed, ‘silent’ forms of nationalization and privatization, reflects ambiguity in political, theoretical and popular views. The uncertainty far exceeds ownership issues to include the role of the state in general, revealing fragmentation of measures in each direction: neither nationalization nor privatization has been based on any integrated, defined paradigm of economic policy.

Keywords: Crisis management, nationalization, bailouts, privatization, economic policy paradigm

JEL Classification: H12, H13, L33, P26

Suggested Citation

Voszka, Éva, Nationalization or Privatization? The Fragmentation of the Mainstream (March 2017). Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Vol. 88, Issue 1, pp. 91-120, 2017. Available at SSRN: or

Éva Voszka (Contact Author)

University of Szeged ( email )

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