The modern public–private demarcation

History and trends in PPP

Authored by: Piet De Vries

The Routledge Companion to Public–Private Partnerships

Print publication date:  February  2013
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415781992
eBook ISBN: 9780203079942
Adobe ISBN: 9781136163302


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Public–private partnership (PPP) relates to risk-transferring and long-term cooperation between the State and a private institution to realize a public facility and/or service. Two main forms profile the history of this goal-oriented cooperation; the concession (charter) and the project agreement. Public authorities make use of private-sector skills to provide facilities that the market would have less incentive to provide; for instance, to exploit an infrastructural facility, or to revitalize an urban area. It is a widespread phenomenon, and has a long history. This chapter deals with the origin and the nature of PPP, and presents some historical patterns in the vicissitudes of the phenomenon. It focuses on addressing two themes: the societal turn enabling the rise of PPPs, and a history of PPPs through examples and reflecting their patterns.

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