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Public-policy partnerships: a public policy perspective

Global Movements in Public Policy Ideas

Carsten Greve

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Carsten Greve

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Graeme Hodge and Carsten Greve

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Carsten Greve and Niels Ejersbo

The key questions addressed in this chapter are: How have public management reforms developed in Denmark? What are the key management tools in place and what explains their use? What are the outcomes and implications of public management reform in Denmark? This chapter describes how Denmark has turned into a Neo-Weberian State using digital era governance elements where a modernized and efficient state, spurred on by the Danish Ministry of Finance, is aided by a digital reform effort focusing on outcomes and results, and a more integrated and holistic approach. The outcome of the various modernization programmes and reforms in Denmark over the last decades is a rather robust and well performing public sector. This is confirmed by the various international rankings where Denmark consistently scores high on most management and governance criteria.

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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.

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Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve

The performance of private finance-based infrastructure public–private partnerships remains hotly contested, despite their global popularity. This chapter explores the meaning of PPP and the notion of PPP success, and points to multiple interpretations of both. It proposes a new conceptual model of the PPP phenomenon, including five levels of meaning: project, delivery method, policy, governance tool, and cultural context. Numerous criteria exist on which the success of PPP might be judged. These are as oriented towards politics and governance as they are towards more traditional utilitarian policy goals concerned with project delivery, or value for money (VfM). Indeed, governments have dozens of different goals in mind. Given mixed international results to date for VfM, it is posited that to the extent that infrastructure PPPs continue to show popularity, governments may well be stressing PPP success more on the basis of political and governance strengths, than utilitarian characteristics.

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Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve

This chapter examines the economic rationalism of public–private partnerships (PPPs) and the broad impact of PPPs on public service. PPPs are defined here as long_term infrastructure contracts, often involving private finance, where the public sector and the private sector share risks and results. The chapter traces the development of the policy idea of PPPs and the politics of PPPs. The main research questions are: How did PPPs become an influential idea in the narrative of economic rationalism? Why did PPPs emerge as a component in economic rationalism of the last twenty_five years? The chapter proceeds by first focusing on the concept of PPP. Then the chapter traces the policy and politics of PPPs through a twenty_five year period, including covering main theoretical interpretations of the politics of PPP, and contrasts the political idea with key developments in the public sector and in public_private relations. The chapter shows that the policy agenda and the politics surrounding PPPs expanded from a Western policy agenda in the 1990s to a global public policy agenda today.

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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 looks at the market place for PPPs and identifies the market actors (companies, banks, consultants) that influence PPP developments. The chapter shows how transport and health care are among the dominant markets for PPPs globally. The chapter also presents recent overviews from the European PPP Expertise Centre connected to the European Investment Bank. The chapter then focuses on the roles played by governments and international organizations in establishing the institutions for market development. Finally, the chapter examines the current role of flagship political programs to develop markets for building infrastructure, and looks specifically at the European Union’s Juncker Plan, the Trump Infrastructure Plan in the US and China’s official PPP policy program.

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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.