Governing partnerships

Christopher Skelcher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Public private partnerships (PPPs) are instruments of the public interest, yet bodies that actively engage private actors. As a result, questions of governance are particularly important. Here, governance refers to the rules that prescribe who should make, execute and be accountable for the conduct of a PPP, and in what way that conduct should be exercised, for example through consultation with interested parties, transparency in decision-making, and so on. This chapter explores four facets of PPP governance: legal, regulatory, democratic, and corporate governance. Legal governance has implications for the allocation of roles and responsibilities between the parties to the PPP, the PPP entity itself, and the state and citizens more widely. Regulatory governance covers the legal and contractual obligations on parties, the procedures through which they are enforced, and the softer norms that operate around these. Democratic governance concerns the empirical and normative question of what is, and what should be, the level and form of constitutional oversight of PPPs. Corporate governance concerns itself with ensuring that the enterprise is managed in a manner that does not put the future of the business and investors funds at undue risk. The chapter concludes that the key task in developing the governance of PPPs is less to do with their financial probity, and more with aligning their mode of operating to the fundamental democratic values of the wider public service.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook on Public-Private Partnerships
EditorsGraeme A. Hodge, Carsten Greve, Anthony E. Boardman
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print) 978-1-84844-356-3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • public private partnership, governance, PPP, management


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