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Diane Stone

Epistocracy is on the rise. The chapters in this volume all document, in one way or another, the role of experts and knowledge organizations in the development of global policies and their implementation by international organizations, donor agencies, and other globally mobile policy actors. The constellations of these actors are called here ‘transnational policy commu¬nities’. They form around a specific policy problem (like refugees or ocean pollution) or alternatively around a policy sector (like global health policy or global environmental policy). Other terms have been used in this volume. Eve Fouilleux writes about the concept of a transnational ‘organizational/institu¬tional field’ that is composed of both a set of institutions, including practices, understandings, and rules as well as a network of organizations. It matters less the terminology used, and the disciplinary or conceptual frame adopted, as all the chapters point to new spaces for making global policy not only inside inter¬national organizations but also in their interactions. These transnational policy communities help fill the void of authority at the global and regional levels where there are ‘non jurisdictional spaces’ such as the oceans, the Antarctic, or global care chains.

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Edited by David Dolowitz, Magdaléna Hadjiisky and Romuald Normand

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Shaping Policy Agendas

The Micro-Politics of Economic International Organizations

Edited by David Dolowitz, Magdaléna Hadjiisky and Romuald Normand

This fascinating book investigates the strategic importance of the production and dissemination of expertise in the activities of the international organizations (IOs) that have come to symbolize the dominance of the Western political and economic order.
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Declining Democracy in East-Central Europe

The Divide in the EU and Emerging Hard Populism

Attila Ágh

The dramatic decline of democracy in East-Central Europe has attracted great interest world-wide. Going beyond the narrow spectrum of the extensive literature on this topic, this book offers a comprehensive analysis of ECE region – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia – from systemic change in 1989 to 2019 to explain the reasons of the collapse of ECE democratic systems in the 2010s.
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Attila Ágh

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Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve

Much attention has gone towards ‘up-front’ processes when delivering infrastructure public–private partnerships (PPPs), but less on how to best govern after the ribbon is cut and the infrastructure built. This chapter identifies the primary contractual and institutional governance challenges arising in the medium to long term of PPP concession contracts and explores these governance challenges through interviews with high-level PPP industry insiders. The chapter presents new findings from Australia on the importance of good public administration for successful PPP operation, and on the interesting evolution of medium- to long-term governance arrangements. It finds that although industry interviewees agreed PPP governance had improved significantly, they had differing views on how capable Australian states were and how well this task was being undertaken. The up-front contract was judged as dominating long-term governance arrangements, with the biggest ongoing challenge for PPPs seen as the need greater transparency in order to improve PPP legitimacy in the eyes of citizens. The professionals themselves were indeed split on the current adequacy of PPP transparency. No single institutional model for governing long term contracts was found, indicating a wide variety of feasible options for policy makers.

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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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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.