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LAW7329 - The privatising state: reform, regulation and reinvention

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Law

Leader: Professor Graeme Hodge


City (Melbourne) Trimester 3 2008 (On-campus block of classes)


This unit investigates privatisation as a family of policies and practices within both modern and developing states. It also examines the crucial role played by regulation in governing privatised arrangements. Historical aspects of State-owned enterprise and traditional governance arrangements are explored, along with more recent privatisation trends and regulatory phenomena. A range of theoretical underpinnings for privatisation and regulation are investigated. Components include enterprise sales, contracting-out public sector services, public-private partnerships and private sector development strategy, with case studies drawn from developing countries and western liberal economies.


Upon completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  • Understand the changing role of the state

  • Define the privatisation family of policies and their place within state governance

  • Outline the task of regulating state-owned enterprise, including aspects of history, debates, trends and issues

  • Identify theories and political underpinnings relevant to privatization and associated regulatory arrangements

  • Analyse a range of privatisation modes including; contracting-out of government services, enterprise sales, public-private partnerships and private sector development strategies

  • Articulate contemporary debates on privatization and regulation and understand the crucial role played now by regulatory arrangements in the privatised state

  • Distinguish elements of accountability in the re-regulated state


Research paper (3,750 words): 50% Case study (3,000 words): 40% Class participation: 10%

Contact hours

Students enrolled in the course will be provided with 24 contact hours of lectures/seminars per semester. Students will be expected to do reading set for class, and undertake additional research and reading as applicable to a 6 credit point unit.


Any two of the prescribed core units in the Master of Regulatory Studies and the Graduate Diploma in Regulatory Studies, or subject to approval of the LLM course convenor.

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