Neo-Corporatism in flux: Taking stock of public private partnerships in German local governance arrangements

Matthias Freise

EMES Conferences Selected Papers Series, ECSP-B08-14
Thematic line: The Welfare State, liberalization, neo-liberal policies, and the third sector

For the past years, the term public private partnership has gained momentum and is discussed as a magic word. In contrast to the usage of the term we do not know much about the possibilities of those partnerships in the rearrangement of state non-profit relations. Are they really efficient and effective tools for (local) governance? Or can they only play the role of a warrantor for the bankrupt state? What do these forms of partnerships cause for non-profit organizations? What are the benefits?

This paper tries to give hints for answering some of these questions by presenting and analysing three exploratory case studies which have been carried out in the context of the CINEFOGO Work package “Partnerships – New Forms of Governance” (WP 17) in the Münsterland region in the Northwest of Northrhine-Westfalia, Germany. In a first step the paper briefly introduces the state of the art on public private partnerships and discusses the question how this concept which has originally developed for state – profit sector relations can be utilized for non-profit research.

That following the paper presents the results of the case studies and is deducing questions for further research. The case studies are presented in detail in an educational film the author has produced for the CINEFOGO network in co-operation with Astrid Sauermann at Münster University.

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