Public Services International Research Unit

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 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. 

We look at the role of multinational companies and the international financial institutions, especially the World Bank. PSIRU addresses a range of related issues, including: corruption, digitalisation, public enterprise, public sector pay, public-private partnerships and PFI, pension funds, and social network analysis.

We carry 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 where PSIRU publishes commissioned reports and other information. 

Our 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 inquiries.

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.

We make a substantial contribution to the REF submission of the Business School, and work on research projects with other colleagues in the faculty. We participate in the teaching work of the Business School. 

Our staff

Many of our members are recognised as international experts in their fields both by academic peers and by the relevant communicaties. The team consists of:


Research students

Tueanh Nguyen

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.

Huili Yu

The Formation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: Help for Developing Nations or a Challenge to US Dominated Global Financial Institutions?

Useful links

Contact us

The Public Services International Research Unit
The Business School
University of Greenwich
Old Royal Naval College
Park Row London
SE10 9LS
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8331 9933
Fax: +44 (0) 20 8331 8665