Public-private partnerships and the transformation of the third world state: the case of Indonesia
AffiliationMelbourne Law School
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusThis item is embargoed and will be available on 2021-03-29.
© 2017 Dr. Dudi Rulliadi
This thesis aims to answer the question of how we should understand the transformation of infrastructure finance, and with it the Third World state, through the adoption of public-private partnerships (PPPs), with a focus on the case of Indonesia. It also seeks to understand the role of international law and institutions in that transformation. In this thesis, ‘PPPs’ refer to a range of contractual mechanisms used in the infrastructure sector. This thesis mainly focuses on PPPs as long-term contracts between Third World states and foreign private investors for the provision of ‘economic’ infrastructure that is vital for daily economic activity. PPPs have been widely promoted by international financial institutions (IFIs) as offering an innovative, technical and apolitical means to deliver better infrastructure and development for Third World states. This thesis offers a different way of understanding the role of PPPs in the Third World, presenting them as instruments of development and state transformation that must be studied within broader historical and geopolitical perspectives. It situates the promotion of PPPs within the project of Third World development championed by international institutions and law. The thesis argues that the translation of concessions into an instrument of development, and their incorporation into global development policy in the form of PPPs, has revived an older colonial project of remaking the Third World through concessions. Through promoting PPPs, IFIs have transformed domestic economic governance, the state and market relationship and the way the state understands infrastructure provision. In conjunction with their establishment, PPPs provided ‘efficiency’ as the new single reference for the state. Further, PPPs have transformed the economic role of the state beyond merely supporting the market, to a level where the state is also accountable to the market, thus putting democracy at risk. The thesis takes Indonesia as its focus, and uses a historical method to understand the ideological and legal-technical basis of PPPs, the role played by international law and actors in their promotion, their relation to earlier colonial concessions, and their role in the displacement of a collectivist post-independence economic model and interventionist establishment of market-friendly institutions. It reveals that Third World PPPs are a distinct project, shaped by the interventions of the international actors involved, and aimed at the transformation of the state. By these interventions and conceptualizations, the promotion of PPPs by IFIs has transformed Third World concessions and expanded the role of international law from a regulatory system governing concessions to one that creates market-friendly institutions in the domestic sphere.
Keywordsinternational law; development; public private partnerships
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