The Logic of Public-Private Partnerships: The Enduring Interdependency of Politics and Markets

Carsten Greve, Graeme Hodge

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    This paper is situated at the nexus of two literatures: theoretical ideas from political science on the relationship between politics and markets, and the more recent public policy phenomenon of public-private partnerships (PPPs). It aims firstly to map some of the primary theoretical underpinnings describing the enduring relationship between governments and businesses. It then focuses on the adoption of PPPs as a popular infrastructure policy, and asks to what extent a particular political-market logic for the adoption of PPP policies appears to exist in leading jurisdictions such as the UK, Australia and Canada. It suggests that the empirical evidence on the undue influence of business over political decision making is not one sided and that the arena is still hotly contested. It also suggests that the policy logic of PPPs may be dependent on the relative maturity of governance systems, the relative maturity of PPP markets, and the political and public management environments in question. A taxonomy based on Kingdon’s conceptualization of this notion is presented. The paper also comments on the development of the PPP phenomenon over the last three decades and highlights particular characteristics influencing the policy path.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2015
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventThe 19th Annual Conference of International Research Society for Public Management. IRSPM 2015 - University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    Duration: 30 Mar 20151 Apr 2015
    Conference number: 19


    ConferenceThe 19th Annual Conference of International Research Society for Public Management. IRSPM 2015
    LocationUniversity of Birmingham
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address

    Cite this