This book examines one of the most high-profile municipal
privatizations the privatization of New York City s Central Park.
The fiscal crisis of the 1970s established the political and
cultural opening for privatizations, which were justified on the
basis of increasing efficiency. However, as Cooke demonstrates,
these justifications were deliberately blind to the social and
economic implication of privatization. This fascinating account
moves beyond the hackneyed pro- versus anti-privatization debate by
reconceptualizing the park s privatization as an ensemble of
contradictory class effects. It also highlights the immense
theoretical and policy space for radically reconsidering and
rethinking privatization processes in both the municipal and global
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