The Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) was established in 2000 by agreement between Public Services International and the University of Greenwich, to carry out research on public services and privatisation, globally. PSIRU is based in the University of Greenwich's Business School.
The principal focus of PSIRU's work is on the social, economic and political aspects of privatisation and liberalisation in water, energy, waste management, health care and social care. It also addresses the general questions of the role and structure of public services and public finance, both in the EU and in developing countries, and the role of multinational companies and the international financial institutions, especially the World Bank. PSIRU addresses a range of related issues, including: corruption, public enterprise, public sector pay, public-private partnerships and PFI, pension funds, and social network analysis.
PSIRU carries out research commissioned by a range of bodies, principally from international and national trade unions and voluntary sector bodies, and from other institutions including the European Commission, ILO and UNRISD. PSIRU also participates in research projects,networks and proposals in partnership with other researchers across Europe and the rest of the world. As part of its core work, PSIRU maintains an extensive database on public services and privatisation, and a website www.psiru.org where PSIRU publishes commissioned reports and information from its database. PSIRU staff publish in a wide range of academic journals and books, are invited to present at numerous academic and policy conferences, and to submit evidence to official enquiries. Institutions which have invited or commissioned presentations for PSIRU include the World Bank, the United Nations, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). They are also invited to attend and speak at trade union and civil society conferences, in many countries.
PSIRU staff make a substantial contribution to the RAE submission of the Business School, and work on research projects with other colleagues in the school. They also participate in the teaching work of the Business School. The team currently consists of four key researchers: David Hall, Jane Lethbridge, Emanuele Lobina, and Professor Stephen Thomas. All of these are recognised as international experts in their fields, both by academic peers and by the relevant policy communities. In addition, Vladimir Popov, works as part of the unit, as a research fellow to act as an expert on social network analysis and a specialist in privatisation in Russia. PSIRU is now employing research assistance in developing countries.
Public Finance and International Loans in the Energy Sector: Analysis of Patterns and Impacts of Government Investment and Developing bank projects on the Electricity Liberalisation Process and Performance in Emerging and Developing Countries
The Public Services International Research Unit
The Business School
University of Greenwich
Old Royal Naval College
Park Row London
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8331 9933
Fax: +44 (0) 20 8331 8665