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Abstract

This article draws some general connections between privatization and political accountability. Although the main focus of the article is to examine different types of privatization, specifically exploring the ramifications for political accountability of each type, I also engage in some speculation as to whether there are situations in which privatization might raise constitutional concerns related to the degree to which the particular privatization reduces political accountability for the actions or decisions of the newly privatized entity. Court-created constitutional limits on privatization concerning political accountability have antecedents in recent Tenth Amendment jurisprudence and not-so-recent nondelegation cases. "Privatization" denotes a broad spectrum of the relationship between government and the private sector. On one end, accountability is not likely to be a serious concern, however in other circumstances, such as deregulation of personal relationships and business matters, reducing political accountability is the point of deregulation, and the increase in personal and economic freedom is worth the reduction of political accountability.

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