Liberalization  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Shop


Featured:

Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Enlarge
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Liberalization (or liberalisation) is any process whereby a state lifts restrictions on some private individual activities. Liberalization occurs when something which used to be banned is no longer banned, or when government regulations are relaxed.

The term "liberalization" is most often used in discussing economic liberalization, which refers to the reduction of state involvement in the economy, but it can be used in other contexts as well.

Contents

In law

In social policy, liberalization may refer to a relaxation of laws restricting, for example, divorce, abortion, or psychoactive drugs. Regarding civil rights, it may refer to the elimination of laws prohibiting homosexuality, private ownership of firearms or other items, same-sex marriage, inter-racial marriage, or inter-faith marriage.

In economy and trade

Economic liberalization refers to the reduction or elimination of government regulations or restrictions on private business and trade. It is usually promoted by advocates of free markets and free trade, whose ideology is also called economic liberalism. Economic liberalization also often involves reductions of taxes, social security, and unemployment benefits.

Economic liberalization is often associated with privatization, which is the process of transferring ownership or outsourcing of a business, enterprise, agency, public service or public property from the public sector to the private sector. For example, the European Union has liberalized gas and electricity markets, instituting a competitive system. Some leading European energy companies such as France's EDF and Sweden's Vattenfall remain partially or completely in government ownership. Liberalized and privatized public services may be dominated by big companies, particularly in sectors with high capital, water, gas, or electricity costs. In some cases they may remain legal monopolies, at least for some segments of the market like consumers. Liberalization, privatization and stabilization are the Washington Consensus's trinity strategy for economies in transition.

There is also a concept of hybrid liberalization as, for instance, in Ghana, cocoa crops can be sold to competing private companies, but there is a minimum price for which it can be sold and all exports are controlled by the state.

Comparison with democratization

There is a distinct difference between liberalization and democratization. Liberalization can take place without democratization, and deals with a combination of policy and social change specialized to a certain issue, such as the liberalization of government-held property for private purchase. Democratization is politically highly specialized; it can arise from a liberalization but works on a broader level of governmental liberalization.

See also

Specific:




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Liberalization" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools