Document Type


Publication Details

Warwick Funnell, Robert Jupe and Jane Andrew, In Government We Trust: Market Failure and the Delusions of Privatisation, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2009, 309p.


Neoliberalism has had a huge impact on our lives over the past three decades, convincing governments in liberal democratic states to transform themselves and society according to the values and practices of the market. In Government We Trust examines these promises within the context of market failures in services relinquished to the private sector by governments. Using prominent examples such as the collapse of Railtrack in the UK, the energy crisis in the US and the Sydney water treatment scandal in Australia, it exposes the level of risk which remains with government after privatisation, requiring them to resume responsibility when the private sector fails. The authors show how these failures reveal the benefits of government intervention and the dangers of unfettered markets. They argue that these problems confirm that there are some things only governments can and should do.