The book explores the core public tasks that the state has traditionally provided but which increasingly are being privatized and subsumed by the private sector. The night-watchman state role of providing security is instead offered by private prisons and security guards. Legitimized by the argument of efficiency gains, social security including public housing, pensions, unemployment insurance and health care are all being gradually privatized. This book argues that on the basis of efficiency, morality and equality there is still an overwhelming need for public intervention – the res publica. Although the state still funds and regulates core domains, it provides fewer and fewer visible goods. The authors show how this apparent invisibility of the state presents serious challenges for both income equality and democracy.