IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wrc/ymswp1/35.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The limits of market-based governance and accountability - PFI refinancing and the resurgence of the regulatory state

Author

Listed:
  • Asenova, Darinka
  • Beck, Matthias
  • Toms, Steven

Abstract

The refinancing of PFI (Private Finance Initiative) projects currently represents one of the most contentious aspects of Public Private Partnership in the UK. The negative publicity associated with UK PFI refinancing deals is associated with two main factors, namely evidence of massive private sector profit making in connection with past refinancing deals, and the ‘failure’ of private sector financiers to share refinancing profits with public sector organisations in line with government recommendations. This paper examines the ongoing ‘dance of non-regulation’ associated with PFI refinancing on the basis of traditional Marxist notions of ‘contradictions of capitalism’. Our analysis commences with the argument that PFI represents a prototypical case of an alliance between finance capital and the state, which has been created with the principal purpose of establishing a new source of profits for the private sector. A Marxist analysis of state-business relationships would predict such an alliance to show tendencies towards instability which could arise from a number of factors. These include, among others, the inherent lack of legitimacy of such an alliance vis a vis established policy goals and the stakeholders associated with them; a lack of a credible regulatory framework which, as a systemic prerequisite of private sector profit making, further exacerbates existing problems of legitimation; and, perhaps most importantly, the potentially self-defeating attempt by capital to maximise gains from the exploitation of the existing alliance without concern for the possibility of a political or regulatory backlash. Examining the recent history of PFI refinancing we find evidence of most of these destabilising tendencies which we expect to trigger calls for a greater regulation of PFI projects in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Asenova, Darinka & Beck, Matthias & Toms, Steven, 2007. "The limits of market-based governance and accountability - PFI refinancing and the resurgence of the regulatory state," The York Management School Working Papers 35, The York Management School, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrc:ymswp1:35
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/3474/1/beckm32007pdf.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Napier, Christopher J., 2006. "Accounts of change: 30 years of historical accounting research," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 31(4-5), pages 445-507.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wrc:ymswp1:35. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (White Rose Research Online) or (The York Management School). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/msyoruk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.