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The Privatization of Human Services: Myths, Social Capital, and Civil Society

Author: LAWRENCE L. MARTIN
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 27 No. 2

It is fashionable to point to privatization and the involvement of for-profits as the parties responsible for many, if not most, of the ills that plague the social welfare system today. This article takes a contrary point of view. Three arguments are made. First, private sector human service delivery and the use of for-profits in the United States predate privatization as a defined public policy. Second, the privatization of the human services is a world wide phenomenon that transcends politics and ideology. Third, the privatization of human services helps to promote civil society and generate social capital.

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