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Abstract

This Article analyzes the privatization of traditional government services by placing such changes in governance in a global context. Looking into what domestic institutions have to do with the global economy, this Article argues that the privatization of governmental services is very much a piece with deregulatory trends in the United States and elsewhere in which state-centered approaches to a variety of regulatory problems increasingly have given way to markets and market discourses at all levels of government. This Article then considers the effects of such privatization trends on the public/private distinction itself, and its implications for democracy in general. This Article comes to the conclusion that we must reform our domestic legal procedures and approaches to issues in order to ensure democratic participation in decisions that have broad societal effects and that involve public and private aspects. The local politics of administrative governance can help shape and transform the law, locally and globally, in important ways. The reforms suggested here can help mitigate some aspects of a democracy deficit, thereby helping to shape a politics that affects issues that can no longer be understood solely in domestic terms.

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