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Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve

This chapter is situated at the nexus of two literatures: theoretical ideas from political science on the relationship between politics and markets, and the more recent public policy phenomenon of public–private partnerships (PPPs). It aims first to map some of the primary theoretical underpinnings describing the enduring relationship between governments and businesses. It then focuses on the adoption of PPPs as a popular infrastructure policy, and asks to what extent a particular political-market logic for the adoption of PPP policies appears to exist in leading jurisdictions such as the UK, Australia and Canada. It suggests that the empirical evidence on the undue influence of business over political decision making is not one sided and that the arena is still hotly contested. It also suggests that the policy logic of PPPs may be dependent on the relative maturity of governance systems, the relative maturity of PPP markets, and the political and public management environments in question. A taxonomy based on Kingdon’s conceptualization of the policy window is presented. The chapter also comments on the development of the PPP phenomenon over the last three decades and highlights particular characteristics influencing the policy path.