Why Politics of Public-Private Partnerships Reinforced Economic Rationalism During Twenty-Five Years

Carsten Greve, Graeme Hodge

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


This paper examines the economic rationalism of public-private partnerships (PPPs) and the impact of PPPs on public service. PPPs are defined here as long-term infrastructure contracts, often involving private finance, where the public sector and the private sector share risks and results. The paper traces the development of the policy idea of PPPs and the politics of PPPs. The main research questions are: How did PPPs become an influential idea in the narrative of economic rationalism? Why did PPPs emerge as a component in economic rationalism of the last twenty-five years? The paper proceeds by first focusing on the concept of PPP. Then the paper traces the policy and politics of PPPs through a twenty-five year period, including covering main theoretical interpretations of the politics of PPP, and contrasts the political idea with key developments in the public sector and in public-private relations. The paper shows that the policy agenda and the politics surrounding PPPs expanded from a Western policy agenda in the 1990s to a global public policy agenda today that is focused more on infrastructure governance
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventThe 21st Annual Conference of International Research Society for Public Management. IRSPM 2017 - Corvinus University, Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 19 Apr 201721 Apr 2017
Conference number: 21


ConferenceThe 21st Annual Conference of International Research Society for Public Management. IRSPM 2017
LocationCorvinus University
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