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2015/2016  BA-BHAAI1058U  The Politics of Public-Private Partnerships

English Title
The Politics of Public-Private Partnerships

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration Summer
Start time of the course Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Dr. Sanford M. Schram, Hunter College, CUNY
    Sven Bislev - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management (ICM)
Main academic disciplines
  • Corporate governance
  • Political leadership and public management
  • Political Science
Last updated on 12-05-2016
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • analyze public-private interrelations in the light of state-market relations and international relations
  • identify problems and opportunities of using Public-Private Partnerships in the context of modern governance
  • argue the place of PPPs in terms of the achievement of public goals and the future of democratic governance and citizenship.
Course prerequisites
No prerequisites
The Politics of Public-Private Partnerships:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer, Ordinary exam: 1-5 August 2016.
Retake exam: Within two months from the ordinary exam.
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Home project assignment with a new exam question.
Course content and structure

This is course invites undergraduate students to pursue a variety of theoretical and empirical questions regarding public-private partnerships (PPPs), state-market relations, and international relations. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, we will illuminate PPPs by locating them in a broader context of politics and power, policy and governance. Students will explore PPPs from a variety of conceptual and theoretical standpoints. They will reflect on how the rise of PPPs fits into a broader frame of intellectual, political, and economic developments in recent decades associated with what is being called neoliberalism. Students will ask how we should evaluate PPPs in terms of their consequences – not only for the achievement of public goals but also for the future of democratic governance and citizenship.


Class 1: Introduction: The Politics of Public-Private Partnerships in an Era of Neoliberalism


Class 2: The Ideological Context: Neoliberalism and Democracy


Class 3: Power, Politics and Revising State-Market Relations


Class 4: PPPs and Globalization


Class 5: Corporate Social Responsibility


Class 6: PPPs and Philanthrocapitalism

feedback activity: in-class discussion about the course


Class 7: Social Impact Bonds


Class 8: The Bottom of the Pyramid


Class 9: PPPs and NGOs: Global Governance and International

Class 10: Neoliberalism, Public Value and the Common Good


Class 11: Radical Incrementalism: Rethinking Change Strategies in  
an Age of Neoliberalism

Teaching methods
Class sessions will typically tack back and forth between question-driven discussions and short lectures designed to organize, clarify, and augment the ideas that have emerged through discussion. I begin with discussion questions – and devote most of our time in class to discussion – to ensure that students take primary responsibility for interpreting and critiquing the readings. I follow up with mini-lectures to ensure they come away with a clear understanding of the readings and the issues. In addition, I find that student engagement is improved by alternating between participatory discussions and short clarifying lectures that respond to the ways the students have framed and engaged the issues.
Student workload
Preliminary assignment 10 hours
Classroom attendance 33 hours
Preparation 144 hours
Feedback activity 7 hours
Examination 12 hours
Further Information

Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 1 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.


Feedback Activity: A feedback activitity defined by the course instructor will take place app. half-way through the course. 


NB! Please note that this course is cancelled in ISUP 2016!

Expected literature


Sanford F. Schram: The Return of Ordinary Capitalism: Neoliberalism, Precarity, Occupy

Oxford University Press, 2015

Last updated on 12-05-2016