PPP policy, depoliticisation, and anti-politics


This article disentangles the complex relationship between depoliticisation and anti-politics in public-private partnership (PPP) policies and practices. By identifying three social mechanisms that underlie dynamics of depoliticisation in PPPs, namely consultocracy, yield bias, and complex contracting, it contributes to the growing interdisciplinary literature on depoliticisation. The article argues that as depoliticisation continues to evolve, it further increases the unbalance between depoliticisation and politicisation, which has negative implications for democratic governance. The depoliticised logic behind PPPs feeds broad sentiments of political distrust and disappointment, because political decision makers tend to use PPPs as miracle solutions for the delivery of public infrastructure without bearing the long-term budgetary consequences of their own decisions. This constitutes an expectations gap: the difference between what is promised or expected by politicians on the one hand, and what they can actually deliver on the other. It is here that the short-term rationales and incentives of political decision makers collide with the wider public interest in the longer term.

In Partecipazione e Conflitto