The Logic of Public–Private Partnerships
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The Logic of Public–Private Partnerships

The Enduring Interdependency of Politics and Markets

Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve

This book examines Public–Private Partnerships (PPP), and tracks the movement from early technical optimism to the reality of PPP as a phenomenon in the political economy. Today's economic turbulence sees many PPP assumptions changed: what contracts can achieve, who bears the real risks, where governments get advice and who invests. As the gap between infrastructure needs and available financing widens, governments and businesses both must seek new ways to make contemporary PPP approaches work.
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Chapter 8: Contemporary public-private partnership: towards a global research agenda

Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve


This chapter reviews the research pedigree on public–private partnerships (PPPs) from Broadbent and Laughlin’s seminal piece in 1999. The PPP phenomenon is viewed at five levels: project delivery, organizational form, policy, governance tool and as a phenomenon within a broader historical and cultural context. It is argued in this chapter that whilst a variety of research issues will continue to be relevant, five corresponding areas deserve future visibility for a renewed research agenda: (1) financialization of PPPs, (2) global PPP market actors, (3) internationalization of policy on PPPs, (4) long-term complex contracts as a governing regime and (5) PPPs in BRIC and developing countries. We have moved from a focus on PPP purely as projects to a focus on PPP as a phenomenon. We have also moved from a national to a more comparative studies focus; from attention on the formal and the technical, to more socio-political and informal concerns; from a few disciplinary lenses to many; and from regarding PPP as ‘the next big thing’ to seeing it as a series of ongoing experiments. PPP is now a highly internationalized and longer-term collaborative ideal. The merit and worth of PPP nonetheless remains a fundamental recurring theme within the relationship between governments and business.

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