Public-private Partnerships: The Way They Were and What They Can Become

Graeme A. Hodge, Carsten Greve, Anthony E. Boardman

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Infrastructure PPPs are now main-stream. Both partnership language and its contractual forms have evolved over the past few decades, though. Compared to early optimistic promises, we now have a more nuanced and balanced view of what PPPs are and what they can achieve. Indeed, modern PPPs are tied more to seeking economic growth and political success rather than demonstrating ‘one-best-way’ to deliver efficient infrastructure. This article traces where the infrastructure PPP idea has come from and what it is now becoming. It takes a global perspective and places Australian and international experience in this context, particularly through the global financial crisis. It concludes that PPP can become an integrated part of infrastructure development around the world, assuming learning occurs from past experience. It presents several lessons on deepening partnerships; on the multiplicity of the PPP ‘model’ and its ingredients; on policy learning and on governing infrastructure in the medium term. And it also concludes that not only does the PPP brand today still offer manifold possibilities, even more public policy experimentation is currently warranted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian Journal of Public Administration
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)273–282
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Infrastructure
  • Public private partnership
  • Governance

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