Why Bolivia? An Examination of Water Privatization
This study explores water privatization in Bolivia in 1998. A literature review was conducted and the historical and capitalistic factors leading to water privatization were examined. Historical factors include Bolivia’s mass debt and the popularity of neo-liberal ideology (a belief that the government should have little control over markets). Capitalistic factors include the role of the state and of social class (pressure on Bolivian officials from external organizations and wealthy citizens), and a prioritizing of profit over social or environmental factors. Together, these factors created the perfect scenario in which the privatization of water in Bolivia was inevitable and, ultimately, detrimental to many Bolivian people, who could no longer afford water. The study recommends that government protection should extend to goods that are a basic human necessity; a desire for profit must not overshadow social and environmental concerns.
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