In the last twenty years there has been a major international wave of privatisation, which has shifted many public sector activities into the private sector. The majority of these cases follow a `traditional¿ model where the government privatises and then establishes an ¿arms length¿ relationship with the privatized provider. This, however, is only one model of privatisation. There are many circumstances where it is inappropriate and in more recent `privatisations¿ there is a growing emphasis on different models, e.g., Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), in a range of sectors, notably for public services such as health, education, and infrastructure provision. These `less-than-arms-length¿ privatisations and partnerships are now becoming of enormous signifi cance in the EU and the rest of the word, both in terms of the focus of public policy and their aggregate economic scale. However these newer privatisation models, and the relationships between government and privatised companies in `conventional¿ privati sation models, has received far less attention from researchers. The main objective of this series of conferences is to understand the interrelationship between government and private sector in privatisations and partnerships. In particular, the object ive is to contribute to:-An analytical understanding of the complex relationships between government and private provider -An assessment and interrogation of the appropriate experience of developing countries and transition countries -An understanding of t he aptness of the various delivery models (arms length, partnership, not-for-profit) at the public-private interface-when particular approaches work, when they may fail and why; -An understanding of the impact of privatisation (and different modes of priva tisation) on institutions-An understanding of the `governance¿ relationship between government and private sector (implications of the various modes of privatisation for regulation and governance.
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