Volume 47, No. 4 | Public-private partnerships

Karen N. Breidahl and Flemming Larsen | Trade-offs and dilemmas in public-private cooperation: marketization of employment services in Denmark

How has public-private cooperation in the employment services developed since 2003? And which types of dilemmas and trade-offs have emerged along with these developments? In 2003, large parts of the public employment services were contracted out to non-public providers and a private market for employment services was established. Comprehensive tendering was introduced, and political expectations to the market were high. Around 12 years later, the market has decreased significantly and public-private cooperation has evolved into a much more partnership-based and local approach. The article describes how these changes have affected governance as well as policy direction and the difficulties involved in creating a functioning market for employment services that lives up to the political expectations.  

Andrej Christian Lindholst | The role of collaboration in contracting out: an analysis of the importance of transactional and relational dimensions

What role does collaboration play in the management of public services, which over the years have been regarded as well suited for contracting out? Effective use of contracting out for easily contractible services is in the administrative practice and the academic literature conventionally believed to be related to the satisfaction of transactional requirements, especially specification, competitive pricing, monitoring and presence of credible safeguards, with a minimum use of resources (transaction costs). The article argues that satisfaction of additional relational requirements, such as collaboration, personal relations and trust, must be expected to play important roles as well. In a single-case study of contracting out of landscape maintenance it is shown that transactional and relational dimensions of the contract exist in a dynamic interplay and that their satisfaction is key to contractual performance. It is concluded that it is necessary to include relational dimensions in explanations of how contractual relations work and the performance of contracting out. 

Lena Brogaard | Drivers and barriers in public-private innovation partnerships (PPI) in Danish healthcare and eldercare

What are the main drivers and barriers to achieving innovation in public-private innovation partnerships (PPIs)? Based on a comparative case study of four PPIs in Danish healthcare and eldercare, the article explores the influence of exogenous, institutional and collaborative factors in PPI. The analysis shows that in cases where innovation has been achieved an exogenous barrier, such as public procurement rules, has been overcome through facilitation of the collaborative process and trust-based relations, and that institutional risk-willingness, support and investment of resources in interaction with collaborative factors such as common purpose, trust and engaged individuals have contributed to the development and implementation of new solutions.  

Ole Helby Petersen | National support for public-private partnerships (PPPs): a comparative analysis of 20 European countries

The article comparatively examines national support for public-private partnerships (PPPs) across 20 European countries with varying PPP-experience. Three elements are defined as central to national support for PPPs: political, regulatory and institutional support. The first part of the analysis comparatively examines the political, regulatory and institutional support for PPPs across the countries. This forms the basis for identifying similarities and differences and grouping of the countries in relation to national support for PPPs. The second part of the analysis presents an exploratory analysis of the relationship between national support and the uptake of PPPs measured as the number and capital value of PPP projects in the 20 countries. 

Morten Ougaard | Erik Rasmussen, Niels Bohr and value relativism: on the occasion of Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen’s book about Erik Rasmussen

In retirement, Erik Rasmussen (1917-1995), the founder of political science in Denmark, wrote a book about Niels Bohr’s philosophy of complementarity and political science. A recent portrayal of Rasmussen by Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen is silent about this contribution. Bohr’s philosophy and Rasmussen’s contribution contain important epistemological insights that help clarify methodological and theoretical problems in political science and other social sciences. Among them are the structure-agency question, relations between micro- and macroanalysis, and between cognitive and normative aspects of political science research. Particularly salient is Rasmussen’s adherence to the principle of value relativism and the limits on the possibilities for objective or value-free political science. The encounter with Bohr’s philosophy has clarified and strengthened Rasmussen’s position, and Lippert-Rasmussen’s critique of it is not convincing. 

Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen | Erik Rasmussen, Niels Bohr and value relativism: response to Ougaard

Morten Ougaard argues that it is a serious omission in my recent book on Erik Rasmussen that I ignore Rasmussen’s views on Bohr’s concept of complementarity and its relevance for political science. In response, I argue that Ougaard’s three examples of such relevance – the topics of micro-macroanalysis, causal determination and freedom of the will, and the relation between descriptions and evaluations – all fail to illustrate this relevance. 

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