Chapter 2: English PPPs: Institutions, techniques and changes
Chapter 1 developed a framework for analysing public–private partnerships/Private Finance Initiatives (PPPs/PFIs) within their regulatory space. It suggested possible models for structuring the public discretion used in PPPs/PFIs and concluded that, PPPs/PFIs may result from different articulations of (non-) legal techniques and narratives within the regulatory space. Since PPPs/PFIs are hybrids of public and private partners, they rely on both public institutions and market mechanisms to varying extents. Depending on their specific set-up, PPPs/PFIs may thus follow a ‘state-analogue’ or a ‘market-analogue’ model. This chapter maps out the institutions and techniques which shape PPPs/PFIs in the English regulatory space. Focusing on English PPPs/PFIs, we can highlight how PPPs/PFIs oscillate between state-analogue and market-analogue models. PPPs/PFIs emerged as a means of tackling a backlog of investments in public infrastructure with private finance. This happens despite financial pressures, changes in central-local relationships, the strengthening of audit as a control technique, government policy changes related to PPPs/PFIs and formalisation of PPPs/PFIs. These factors have led to experimentation and an incremental evolution in the organisation of PPPs/PFIs and the cooperation between public and private actors. Overall, PPPs/PFIs have become a sophisticated laboratory for constant balancing between market and state logics and between private and public interests. In order to map out these swings between market-analogue and state-analogue models in English PPPs/PFIs, this chapter proceeds as follows.
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