Multiple accountabilities in public-private partnerships (PPPs): how to unravel the accountability paradox?


Both in the academic literature and popular press, more horizontal and hybrid forms of governance such as public-private partnerships (PPPs) are mostly associated with democratic deficits due to a shortfall of traditional accountability arrangements (Flinders 2010; Skelcher 2010; Reeves 2013). This association is not self-evident. The spectrum of accountability instruments increases when public responsibilities and tasks are shared between public and private actors. When private accountability to shareholders and investors supplements public accountability to office holders and parliaments, one would expect more accountability. Flyvbjerg et al. (2003), for instance, propose to involve private equity into large infrastructure projects in order to strengthen accountability and to avoid cost overruns.

In Tom Christensen and Per Lægreid (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook to Accountability and Welfare State Reforms in Europe. Routledge: London