Edited by Graeme A. Hodge, Carsten Greve and Anthony E. Boardman
Chapter 2: Mixes and Partnerships through Time
Roger Wettenhall Introduction: a rich history of public–private mixing Aims of the chapter A major purpose of this chapter is to point to the long history of public– private mixing in the world’s governance arrangements. Within that context, the chapter explores the emergence of ‘public–private partnership’ (‘PPP’ or ‘P3’) as a term and a concept of great symbolic value in modern governance, arguing that the massive ‘chatter’ about it now being experienced leads to ambivalence and misleading language.1 It suggests that two main agendas of discussion have developed, the one relating particularly to infrastructure-type projects and the other extending much more broadly to a wide range of mixing arrangements. Given that many treatments of the modern period focus primarily on the first, the chapter turns to consider a number of other arenas in which mixing has taken place over the centuries, and in many cases is still taking place. The three arenas encompass the intersectoral pooling effects of the global economy, developments in domestic and international security services, and movement relating to mixed public–private enterprises. This chapter asserts that, while public–private mixing has existed since the beginnings of organized government, the private component of governance retreated as nation states became stronger in the 1700s and 1800s and centralized the performance of many public functions within their own establishments. But it has flourished again in the recent period, as the evolution of governance systems has required governments to develop new roles as they share significant power and...
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