New Actors and Modes of Governance in a Globalizing World
Edited by Susan L. Robertson, Karen Mundy, Antoni Verger and Francine Menashy
Chapter 4: Public Private Partnerships, Neoliberal Globalization and Democratization
4. Public private partnerships, neoliberal globalization and democratization Mark Ginsburg Introduction In this chapter, I briefly examine the growing popularity of public private partnerships (PPPs) prior to identifying critical dimensions for conceptualizing PPPs, and analysing the reasons for different types of partners to become involved and the roles they may play. I then move to consider the implications of different forms of PPPs, involving different types of partners, for two related dynamics, neoliberal globalization and democratization within and between societies. I discuss separately the implications for these dynamics, the former focusing on the economic dimension and the latter emphasizing the political dimension of human experience. However, we should remember that these two dimensions are interrelated. For instance, MacEwan observes how neoliberal economic policies at local, national and global levels tend to undermine the possibility for democratic forms of politics: By removing as much activity as possible from the political realm and by erecting high barriers between the economic and political realms – in the name of protecting private property – the neoliberal programme makes democracy in the political realm of limited relevance to economic affairs, … [that is,] the central material aspects of people’s lives. … [Of course,] a ‘political process’ does not necessarily mean a democratic process…, but once an activity is removed from the political realm a democratic process becomes impossible. (2005, p. 172) Increased popularity of public private partnerships The concept and practice of PPPs are not new; indeed, at least from the eighteenth century ‘parts of this concept have been...
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