The Challenge of Public–Private Partnerships

The Challenge of Public–Private Partnerships

Learning from International Experience

Edited by Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve

The aim of the book is to investigate how PPP reforms function in comparison to the more traditional methods of providing public sector services and infrastructure and who typically experiences the successes and failures of these reforms.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Carsten Greve and Graeme Hodge

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, politics and public policy, public policy


Carsten Greve and Graeme Hodge Public infrastructure and services both play a huge part in any modern society. We use the roads each day, our children attend schools or universities, and we rely on hospitals and medical developments funded from the public purse. We even depend on communications through the world wide web, the result of publicly funded research. But public infrastructure and services are a paradox, too. On the one hand they are both necessary for day to day living and fundamental to the longer term development of our communities. But on the other, issues concerning funding and daily operation do not excite the public and it is rare to see any real interest in such matters. That is, until it is suggested that private funds be used for future public infrastructure, education and hospital care as part of the growing world wide political support for privatization of government services and the subsequent movement towards ‘public–private partnerships’ (PPPs). Public–private partnerships (PPPs) – loosely defined as cooperative institutional arrangements between public and private sector actors – have now gained wide interest around the world. But few people agree on what a PPP actually is. Some see it as a new governance tool that will replace the traditional method of contracting out for public services through competitive tendering. Others see PPPs as a new language in public management, designed to cover older established procedures involving private organizations in the delivery of public services (Linder, 1999). Yet others view PPPs as...