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Internationalisation and Economic Institutions:Comparing the European Experience$
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Mark Thatcher

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199245680

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245680.001.0001

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Liberalising the Letter: The Reform of Postal Services

Liberalising the Letter: The Reform of Postal Services

Chapter:
(p.235) 12 Liberalising the Letter: The Reform of Postal Services
Source:
Internationalisation and Economic Institutions:
Author(s):

Mark Thatcher (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245680.003.0013

Postal services seem an unlikely case for internationalisation. Postal institutions have deep national roots. Few transnational technological and economic developments have taken place, neither the US nor Britain liberalised or even privatised their state-owned post offices and the scope for international regulatory competition is low. The main form of internationalisation has been EU regulation between the mid-1990s and 2005. Nevertheless, from the late 1990s, significant institutional alterations were made, as postal operators became more commercial organisations and expanded overseas. EU regulation provided both pressure for change and justifications for it. The case of postal services underlines the role of EU regulation even in the absence of transnational technological and economic pressures, or prior reforms in the US or Britain through its legal requirements, and more importantly, its indirect influence through being used by actors in the domestic policy process.

Keywords:   postal services, EU regulation, domestic policy process, liberalisation, privatisation

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