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Public-private partnerships in the United States: historical patterns and current trends

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The growth and development of the United States’ non-profit sector in its service and civil society capacities could not have taken the course it did by relying solely on private voluntary contributions. Within the US non-profit sector, there few large “pure” non-profit service providers that rely solely on private donations. However, public-private partnerships are the modus vivendi of America’s contemporary non-profit sector largely because public-private partnerships are a basic characteristic of American politics and social welfare system—not by design but by happenstance. At the turn of the century, however, we are witnessing an emerging trend that could lead to major changes in publicprivate partnerships. As we discuss in this paper, blurring sectoral boundaries have become more frequent, and the role of for-profit firms has become more pronounced. While it is difficult to gauge what the end result of these developments might be, it is safe to assume that more complex forms of partnerships will evolve. Future policy scenarios will increasingly include various combinations among government, business and non-profit providers. What is more, the three-way partnerships of the future will involve organisations no longer strictly bound by their legal form or sector membership. Organisational form may become more project-specific rather than a constant as was the case in the past.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/29058/1/CSWP_16_web.pdf

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