Learning from International Experience
Edited by Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve
Chapter 14: German public-private partnerships in personal social services: new directions in a corporatist environment
14. German public–private partnerships in personal social services: new directions in a corporatist environment1 Maria Oppen, Detlef Sack and Alexander Wegener In Germany, public–private cooperation is not fundamentally new. In fact, it has been fairly common over time. But whereas intersectorial cooperation may in retrospect appear to be a recurring phenomenon of technical infrastructures and of urban and regional development, a growing number of new partnerships are taking their place alongside familiar corporatist arrangements in Germany’s sector for social services. What conditions have fostered the emergence of these new public–private partnerships (PPPs) in social services? What speciﬁc functions do they assume? Unlike international developments of New Public Management (NPM), the general trend in Germany focuses squarely on the internal modernization of management, which used to be confined to local government. To be sure, there has been a good deal of dispute about the government’s main responsibilities and the question of which tasks should be performed by government and which can be delegated (Gusy, 1998; Naschold et al., 1996). However, attempts at privatization and marketization have remained marginal, especially compared to efforts in Great Britain (Naschold et al., 1997; Pollitt and Bouckaert, 2000). Around the late 1990s, modernized bureaucratic hierarchy and elements of competition were complemented by new forms of social association and by an increasing orientation to networking (Klenk and Nullmeier, 2003). Mobilizing ‘stakeholders’ and their resources for the local provision of services – through PPPs, for example – can be regarded as a transition from the speci...
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