Public-Private Partnerships for Local Economic Development

By Norman Walzer; Brian D. Jacobs | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Bureaupolitics and Public/Private
Partnerships in Economic
Development in the British
West Midlands
Brian D. JacobsPartnerships are the basis of economic development and urban regeneration programs in the British West Midlands region. The purpose of this chapter is to describe and explain new patterns of public/private sector partnership in regional economic development with special reference to Britain’s second largest city, Birmingham. The chapter concerns the development of complex policy networks and how partnerships are influenced by the changing external environment within which local government officials work. Public/private sector organizations cooperate to develop common policy strategies and share risks in economic development. Collaboration produces different patterns of partnership where powerful political and business groups with vested interests are involved in economic development initiatives.The chapter presents a model that describes three major characteristics of public /private partnerships as follows:
1. Partnership as facilitator of risk sharing. Partnerships enable participants to share and reduce commercial and other risks in economic development within a changing and unpredictable environment.
2. Partnership as political competition. Because partnerships facilitate collaboration between partners with different interests, the groups within partnerships are politically competitive and sometimes prone to conflict.

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