Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to reject the essentialist and neoliberal approach to public–private partnerships (PPPs) by critically evaluating both normative and empirical arguments within existing literature on PPPs. It explores different dynamics of PPPs in theory and practice within global public policy. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws its methodological lineages to nonlinear historical narrative around the concept and construction of the idea and language of “PPPs”. The paper follows discourse analysis (Fairclough, 2003) to locate the way in which the PPPs were incorporated within the language of global public policy. Findings – The paper finds that most of the existing literature is looking at managerial, operational, functional and essentialist aspects of PPPs. Therefore, the paper argues that critical success of PPPs depends on its social value for common good with an emancipatory outlook. The study encourages future researchers to move beyond functional aspects of PPPs and locate emancipatory possibilities within the praxis of PPPs from a holistic perspective of global public policy. Research limitations/implications – The existing literature on the concepts and history of PPPs locate its relevance for budgeting and development planning in developed countries and developing countries. Such literature often draws out the advantages and disadvantages of these concepts with a strong focus on the financial implications to the shareholders. However, there appears to be less emphasis on the effects of these concepts and gaps between theory and practice of PPPs. Originality/value – The paper rejects the essentialist and neoliberal approach to PPPs and argues for an emancipatory approach to understand and implement PPPs. Keywords - History, Practice, Public private partnership Paper type - Viewpoint
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- Public Private Partnership
- History and Global Public Policy