The Challenge of Public–Private Partnerships
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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.
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Chapter 13: Public-private partnerships for infrastructure in Denmark: from local to global partnering?

Carsten Greve and Niels Ejersbo


13. Public–private partnerships for infrastructure in Denmark: from local to global partnering? Carsten Greve and Niels Ejersbo INTRODUCTION Public–private partnerships (PPPs) are currently the subject of much debate and discussion in the fields of public policy and public management in Scandinavia, including Denmark. While there is much talk about partnerships for infrastructure, there is little action on the ground in Denmark. PPP’s can be understood as ‘co-operation of some durability between public and private actors in which they jointly develop products and services and share risks and services which are connected to these products and services’ (Van Ham and Koppenjan, 2001:598). What is striking about most commentaries about PPPs is their assumption that PPPs represent something ‘new’. The argument in this chapter is that partnership-like arrangements have been with us for some time. PPPs are not new. To help us develop this argument further, we take our theoretical point of departure in historical–institutional theory (Thelen and Steinmo, 1992; Thelen, 1999). Historical institutionalism puts ‘emphasis on how institutions emerge from and are embedded in concrete temporal processes’ (Thelen, 1999). This chapter explores a particularly interesting case for exploring the evolution of partnerships during a longer time perspective. The case is about the relationship between a private sector company (Falck), responsible for ambulance driving and fire fighting in Denmark, and Danish local and regional governments. The case highlights a nearly century-old relationship that enables it to show how partnerships develop and how they change during various critical junctures...

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