Multi-Level Governance of Public-Private Partnerships: An Analysis of the Irish Case

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Ole Helby Petersen


This paper examines public-private partnerships (PPPs) from a multi-level governance perspective, with a focus on the Irish PPP case. The paper extends previous research on the regulation and governance of PPPs, which has mainly focused on decision-making in the horizontal (public-private) dimension of PPP. The research displays a highly complex interplay between decision-making at several levels of government in the shaping of key decisions about policy, regulation and application of PPPs in Ireland. The achievement of coordinated decision-making for PPPs turns out to be difficult, not least because actors come with various preferences and strategies, but also because policy games are being played simultaneously in vertically interconnected decision-arenas. While many governments in Europe and beyond keep endorsing PPPs, and major financial commitments are made under PPP schemes throughout, the results presented in this paper illustrates that a clearer and more coordinated regulation and governance framework is needed to guide and steer the formation of PPPs across multiple levels of government in Europe.

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Author Biography

Ole Helby Petersen, Danish Institute of Governmental Research

Research Fellow
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