P22 Public-private partnerships and the governance of infrastructure. New frontiers and themes in a contested world

Panel Chairs:
Professor Carsten Greve and Professor Graeme Hodge

Corresponding Chair:
Carsten Greve, cagr.ioa@cbs.dk

This panel will examine the current and future research agenda for public-private partnerships (PPPs) as well as the governance of large infrastructure projects more widely. Why do PPPs stop in some countries (for example the UK) while being adopted in other countries (like China?) Is there a broader approach to infrastructure governance and will PPPs in their current form become obsolete? The modern form of PPP with risk sharing and the use of private finance in establishing long-term infrastructure contracts has been with us since at least the early 1990’s. As mentioned in a recent EE volume by Hodge & Greve (2019) there is an enduring interdependency between politics and markets in PPPs. A debate has recently ensued in both the research community and the practitioner world about the wider spectrum of models that exist to provide infrastructure. These could include state owned enterprise-models or the more market-based model of “regulation asset base” (RAB) (International Transport Forum 2018). There is also a continuing interest in optimizing the management of mega-projects (Flyvbjerg, ed. 2017), under which many PPPs would qualify.

At the same time as PPPs are challenged in Europe and the UK, the PPP model is on the rise in Asia, Africa and North America (Asian Development Bank 2019). The PPP model – with its inclusion of private finance and the promise of quicker new infrastructure being built – certainly continues to attract policy-makers globally.

A panel on the research agenda for PPPs and the governance of infrastructure is therefore timely. It promises not only to better understand these current debates but go beyond this with the aim of exploring a research agenda for the next decade to cover PPPs and infrastructure governance more broadly.


Asian Development Bank. 2019. Realizing the Potential of Public-Private Partnerships in Asia to Advance Asia’s Infrastructure Development. ADB.
Flyvbjerg, Bent. Ed. 2017. The Oxford Handbook of Megaproject Management. Oxford University Press.
Hodge, Graeme & Greve, Carsten. 2019. The Logic of Public-Private Partnerships. The Enduring Interdependency Between Politics and Markets. Edward Elgar.
International Transport Forum. 2018. Private Investment in Transport Infrastructure. Paris.