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International Journal of Regulation and Governance
Year : 2005, Volume : 5, Issue : 2
First page : ( 69) Last page : ( 91)
Print ISSN : 0972-4907.

Taking power: Social and political dynamics of the energy sector*

Wood Davida

Energy Team, Office of Infrastructure and Engineering Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade US Agency for International Development E-mail: dwood@usaid.gov

*The views expressed here the author's alone and do not necessarily represent those of the US Agency for International Development.


The trend towards privatization of the utility sector has been accompanied by a shifting relationship to the public. While state owners of utilities derive legitimacy from being accountable to citizens, sector decision-makers now principally relate to the public as customers. This paper explores (1) how, fundamentally different understandings of public participation amongst stakeholders have stunted meaningful dialogue and (2) institutional frameworks where public and private interests intersect and the potential for win-win solutions.


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