The Private Finance Initiative: Risk, uncertainty and the state

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This paper analyses the UK's Private Finance Initiative (PFI) at a conceptual level by focusing on the management of risk, which is central to the justification for the policy and its application across the public services, and uncertainty, which underlies the role of the state. The paper argues that the rhetorical support for PFI rests on a conflation of risk and uncertainty and that PFI leads to contractual arrangements that are inappropriate for the provision of public services over the medium term. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-589
Number of pages22
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003


  • Contracts
  • Private Finance Initiative
  • Public management
  • Risk
  • Uncertainty


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