9 February 2011
Venue: Mason Lecture Theatre, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus
The privatisation of the railways in Britain was certainly a bold experiment. Flying in the face of all historical experience its progenitors were convinced that the introduction of competition would improve the industry’s efficiency and levels of service and eliminate its need of subsidy. The railways would cease to be a government responsibility. It has not worked out like this, yet despite its failings the basic structure of the privatised industry seems to be unquestioned, even if the reasons for it have been largely forgotten. Time for a rethink?
Sean McCartney is Professor of Accounting and Business History at Queen Mary, University of London and Director of the newly-established Centre for Research in Management and Organisational History (CMOH). He read History at the University of Cambridge before training as an accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in London. He became an academic in 1986 and taught at the Universities of Hertfordshire and Essex before joining Queen Mary in 2007.
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