Global Remunicipalisation and the Post-Neoliberal Turn

A comparative research project investigating remunicipalisation in Germany, Argentina and the USA

About us

Funded by the European Research Council, the ongoing, five-year research project titled “Global Remunicipalisation and the Post-Neoliberal Turn” (GLOBALMUN) is based at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, United Kingdom. Beginning in January 2019, the project will undertake a transnational comparative case study investigating the phenomenon of remunicipalisation.

What is 'remunicipalisation'?

Remunicipalisation refers to a global trend since 2000 for cities to take formerly privatised assets, infrastructure and services back into public ownership. As such, it marks a significant departure in existing urban governance processes, signalling a decisive shift against the dominant form of neoliberalism that has held sway since the 1980s. The research advances the distinctive thesis that remuniciplisation represents a critical moment in the demise of neoliberalism, signifying a shift towards a post-neoliberal urban governance regime. This has fundamental implications for cities in terms of how they are managed, who is involved and who benefits from urban development processes, with the re-introduction of more state-driven and potentially more democratic public forms.

Project aims and objectives

The overarching aim of the research is to critically interrogate remunicipalisation and its implications for an emergent post-neoliberal urbanism. To address this aim it has three objectives:

  • to develop a typology and conceptualisation of remunicipalisation that captures its diverse spatial, political and social forms,
  • to assess whether it leads to more progressive forms of state and public action,
  • and, to critically evaluate the democratic potential of the new forms of municipal public ownership.

Project methods

The research employs a multi-method transnational comparative analysis over 5 years, which involves an extensive global survey element, a three-country comparative analysis (across Argentina, Germany, and the US), and a multi-site ethnographic phase of individual remunicipalisation case studies in each country.