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Beyond Public Policy

A Public Action Languages Approach

Peter K. Spink

Public policy is an expression that has come to dominate the way people talk about doing government and public administration and is seen as a central component of the modern democratic order. Adopting an innovative ‘public action languages’ approach, Beyond Public Policy shows how policy is only one of many powerful social languages (budgeting, planning, rights, directives and protests, amongst others) used to make things happen in the ever-changing arena of public affairs; where they may cooperate, compete, or just go their own way.
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Marcela A. Munizaga

After many years of data scarcity in transportation-related sciences, we have now entered the era of big data. Large amounts of data are available from GPS devices, mobile phone traces, payment transactions, social media, and other sources. The opportunities that this new availability presents are enormous. High-quality data is available at very low or negligible cost. These data can be used to develop new tools, to explore and understand travel behavior and to formulate new policies. However, the challenges are also big: the access to the data is not guaranteed, confidentiality has to be considered, the capacity of processing and enriching these databases has to be developed, and only then will they become really useful for decision-making and for the definition of public policies. This chapter presents an overview of the current state of play, and discusses the future perspectives, focusing on the challenges of building new predictive models.

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Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve

Public-private partnership (PPP) is now a staple in public policy making and a well-known institution for designing, financing, building, operating and maintaining large infrastructure projects internationally. In this book we have focused on a number of recent issues and debates that have surrounded the theme of PPP. This concluding chapter reviews the main arguments of the book before proceeding to discuss and synthesize some of the most prevalent issues affecting public-private partnerships (PPPs) today. These issues include the timing of the economic rationale compared to the political need for PPPs, and the question of whether PPPs have come full circle. Finally, we look at the future of PPP and note its evolution from a focus on the effective delivery of individual projects to (inter)national infrastructure plans competing with each other for political and economic dominance.

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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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Edited by John Stanley and David A. Hensher

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Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve

In this chapter we first put forward some of the key economic arguments for PPPs. Rather than being a systematic treatment of the economics literature, we base much of it on the work of colleagues or finance academics we have met or have read. We highlight some of the scholarly economic arguments favouring PPPs and articulate crucial dimensions contained in these arguments. In particular, we highlight the opposing views of scholars where these exist, and point to any big gaps between what is argued at a theoretical level and what appears to be known at an empirical level. What we find is that economists generally tend to agree on the potential for PPPs to provide efficiencies compared to the public sector alternative. Less agreement, and indeed, strong disagreement exists, however, between economists on the conceptual manner through which rigorous evaluation of PPPs ought to be undertaken. These disagreements, along with a paucity of empirical data supporting PPP superiority, leave a surprisingly wide gap in our knowledge. So, in common with the privatizations undertaken by Thatcher during the 1980s_1990s, there remain huge differences between what is theorized on the one hand about aspects of PPP performance and what is proved empirically on the other.

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Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve

This chapter explores if there has been a shift in the narrative from PPPs to infrastructure governance, and what consequences such a changed narrative might have for practice and research. Twenty years ago, Stephen Linder (1999) considered the ‘multiple meanings’ of PPPs and saw this as superseding earlier conceptions of privatization. Perhaps we are currently also in a time when another transition period is occurring and where a broader term is about to supersede PPP? The chapter explores the concepts of ‘governance’ and ‘infrastructure’ and then ‘infrastructure governance (IFG)’, and points to four meanings of infrastructure governance. We suggest that IFG can be interpreted as: a more decentred approach; as a different way to approach the reform and change agenda; as underlining the hybrid nature of the field of infrastructure; and as focusing on the need for an interdisciplinary approach. It is concluded finally that the phrase ‘infrastructure governance’ will no doubt continue to have both a strong linguistic function as well as a potentially useful structural function when it is applied to the world of PPPs.

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Edited by Dagmar Simon, Stefan Kuhlmann, Julia Stamm and Weert Canzler

This Handbook assembles state-of-the-art insights into the co-evolutionary and precarious relations between science and public policy. Beyond this, it also offers a fresh outlook on emerging challenges for science (including technology and innovation) in changing societies, and related policy requirements, as well as the challenges for public policy in view of science-driven economic, societal, and cultural changes. In short, this book deals with science as a policy-triggered project as well as public policy as a science-driven venture.
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Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve

This chapter looks at how international public–private partnership (PPP) policies are formulated by international organizations. PPPs for infrastructure projects are relevant and present in many countries around the world. The literature is full of studies of individual countries and various aspects of PPPs governance and finance. But there has been less emphasis in the literature on the way in which international organizations have been developing and promoting policies for PPPs. This chapter makes a start in describing and analyzing the way international organizations make policy for PPPs and focuses on perception around their actions. The research questions are: How do international organizations make policy for PPPs and what tools do they use? Do PPP policies from international organizations converge on the same kind of themes? The theoretical lenses employed include the Advocacy Coalition Framework and institutional change mechanisms. The empirical focus is on international organizations’ approaches to PPPs. The chapter examines policy tools from selected international organizations, including the ASEAN countries, the European Union, International Monetary Fund, OECD, UN, and the World Bank. We examine the most recent policy papers (documents and reports) and compare their content, and we show that international organizations co-operate on certain tools in PPP policy development. However, we also note that each organization likes to promote its own tools for PPP projects and developments. International organizations appear to converge on roughly the same themes on PPPs, and there seems to be overall agreement about the main messages and recommendations for the use of PPPs in infrastructure projects.

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Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve

This chapter is situated at the nexus of two literatures: theoretical ideas from political science on the relationship between politics and markets, and the more recent public policy phenomenon of public–private partnerships (PPPs). It aims first to map some of the primary theoretical underpinnings describing the enduring relationship between governments and businesses. It then focuses on the adoption of PPPs as a popular infrastructure policy, and asks to what extent a particular political-market logic for the adoption of PPP policies appears to exist in leading jurisdictions such as the UK, Australia and Canada. It suggests that the empirical evidence on the undue influence of business over political decision making is not one sided and that the arena is still hotly contested. It also suggests that the policy logic of PPPs may be dependent on the relative maturity of governance systems, the relative maturity of PPP markets, and the political and public management environments in question. A taxonomy based on Kingdon’s conceptualization of the policy window is presented. The chapter also comments on the development of the PPP phenomenon over the last three decades and highlights particular characteristics influencing the policy path.