Governing Common Interests
In Chapter 6, the elaborated definition of public private partnership is further discussed in relation to one specific aspect: the public interest. The issue must be deepened because the reference to the concept of public interest brings the discussion to the past, in a time when the identification between the public interest and public subjectivity was indissoluble. To examine the possibility of detecting an alternative expression that could be more consistent with the detected characters of public private partnership, different possible acceptances of ‘public interest’ are analysed. At the end of the excursus, it is affirmed that the concept of public interest, even in its more flexible acceptances, does not adequately represent the dimension of governance that public private partnership contributes to generate. For this reason, more modern theories of public governance are discussed which embrace a wider and more objectified vision of administrative action, aimed at the production of benefits for the community. In this new and modern scenario, detached from the authoritative view of public administration, the notion of public interest is transformed and objectified, as it is detached from its subjective connotation. A new figure is found: the one of ‘common interests’, in plural, to indicate the composite nature of the concept, which embeds at least two subjective visions belonging to the public and private partners and valorizes the recipient of the value of the partnership, namely the community.
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