Governing Public-Private Partnerships

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review


Governments around the world are clamouring to engage the private sector in order to build infrastructure and deliver public services. However, the role of the state in managing new relationships with companies is often murky. Is the government a slow and wasteful bureaucracy that must be held at bay or is it a necessary authority? Assessing the appropriate role for governments within these partnerships and the factors that lead to their success or failure, Governing Public-Private Partnerships delves into two examples of collaborative projects in urban transportation: Vancouver’s Canada Line and the Sydney Airport Rail Link. Through personal interviews with CEOs, senior bureaucrats, and politicians, Joshua Newman compares the strategies pursued by an active and shrewd provincial government in British Columbia with the more hands-off state government in New South Wales, Australia. By supporting networks of players in the transportation game, actively seeking lessons from international experience, and innovating responses to novel policy problems, the public sector was able to lead the Canada Line partnership to operational success. In Sydney, however, the unwillingness of the state government to manage the partnership resulted in a sluggish Airport Link that, after sixteen years in operation, still has not met its original expectations. At a time of renewed interest in private involvement with public services, Governing Public-Private Partnerships provides an in-depth look into how the state can - and must - remain involved.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMontreal Quebec Canada
PublisherMcGill Queens University Press
Number of pages188
ISBN (Electronic)9780773550018, 9780773550001
ISBN (Print)9780773549999, 9780773549982
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Cite this