Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Searchable Course Catalog

header image

IPOL 8646


Partnerships between business, NGOs, and/or government are emerging as both a form of “collaborative governance” and a business model. Aimed at marrying private gain with public goods, public-private partnerships have been heralded as an effective way to promote innovation in business practice and societal values--and condemned as corporate public relations efforts aimed at staving off government regulation. Among the most trenchant concerns are poor performance monitoring, the exclusion of local communities, and most of all, the inadequacy of accountability mechanisms. This course examines and evaluates public private partnerships (PPPs) as vehicles for promoting sustainable development goals, including reducing global poverty and promoting low-carbon development paths. The course will focus on the role of business in four types of PPPs: (1) Philanthropic (capacity building; development cooperation); (2) Multi-stakeholder market governance; (3) Infrastructure provision (government as primary partner); (4) Enterprise development at the “base of the pyramid.” The first three types of PPPs will focus on global business, that is, multinational corporations. Enterprise development PPPs based on new business models will focus on both MNCs and small and medium sized business (SMEs). We will first explore the context for the emergence of PPPs, consider whether and how business might be aligned with sustainable development goals, and examine the meaning and measurement of “sustainable development.” We will then examine case studies of the four types of partnerships and conclude by considering what innovations in governance would make partnerships more effective, scale-able and accountable.
International Policy
International Policy
Intl Policy & Management
Requirements Fulfilled: