The Privatization of Human Services
No reader of professional journals, agency reports, or the daily press needs to be told that Professors Gibelman and Demone have assembled a vol ume of contributions to a very lively debate. The two words highlighted, "privatization" and "contracting," sum up the prescriptions of many for social service reform and the anxieties of others who question the new strategies. The pace and scale of developments over the past 2 decades sometimes allows us to forget that the subject has a long history. Privatization may be thought of as involving public turnover to the private sector of responsi bility for services it has been delivering. Or it may be the public sector arranging for the private sector to take on new services that the public wishes to encourage or for which it accepts responsibility. The transaction usually involves public funds. The historical story, however, is not one of public temporal primacy.