News and events Public Services International Research Unit

Upcoming events:

  • PSIRU/WERU conference: Future Public Services

    Date: Wednesday 27th June 2018 

    Time: 9am - 5pm

    Location: Lecture theatre QA 280, Queen Anne Building, Business Faculty, University of Greenwich, Park Row, London SE10 9LS.

    The proposals in the Labour Party's 2017 manifesto for public ownership of water, energy and rail proved extremely popular in the general election. Since then there has been a resurgence of debate in the UK around the question of public ownership for the first time in a quarter of a century, involving politicians, investors, academics, unions, and the public, with substantial media coverage.  

    The University of Greenwich is organising a conference on 27th June 2018 to contribute to and enhance this debate. The morning session will focus on the case for public ownership in the UK, and on the transition to public ownership, of railway, water, and energy services, and PFI schemes in the NHS, local and central government. This will be followed by contributions on the political economy of public services and public economics, including international speakers.

    The afternoon session will examine how public services can be more democratic focusing on the role of public service workers, and how quality of public services can be improved when workers contribute to the design and delivery of the services.  Presentations from academics and international trade unionists will discuss this relationship between workers and public services in relation to health and education, local government, public transport, and waste management.  

    Conference programme:

    9.00-13.00: Why public ownership?

    Labour party speaker: public ownership plans

    Ian Taylor (Transport for Quality of Life); Public Ownership or railways

    Dr. Helen Mercer (University of Greenwich): Nationalising SPVs and PFI 

    Prof. David Hall (University of Greenwich): Public ownership of water and energy

    Prof. Judith Clifton (University of Cantabria): Public enterprise and the future 

    Dr. Emanuele Lobina (University of Greenwich): Theorising efficiency and the public sector 

    Dr. June Sekera (University College London and Tufts University): Re-thinking public economics


    Lunch 13.00-14.15

    14.15- 17.00: Democratising public services  

    Chair: Prof Sian Moore, University of Greenwich

    Dr. Jane Lethbridge (PSIRU): Worker-led management of services – towards democratic professionalism in public services

    Asbjorn Wahl (Campaign for the Welfare State and NUMGE, Norway): Workers in the welfare state

    Alana Dave (ITF): Redesigning and restructuring services (public transport)

    Dr. Vera Weghmann (PSIRU): Redesigning and restructuring services (waste management)


    17.00 Close

    For registration, please contact:

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Public Services International Research Unit is part of the Business School, University of Greenwich.