Local Democratization and Public-Private Partnerships in South Korea: Opportunities and Challenges

Publication Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



In this study of local public-private partnerships in South Korea, I examined three cases of public infrastructure projects at different levels of local governments and showed that the practice of local democratic politics since the mid-1990s, with limited financial autonomy and fiscal transfers from the central government, has pushed local stakeholders to search for various types of PPP options to meet citizens’ needs. But in many cases, high politics – local competition and opportunistic behaviour – and unreasonable optimism and bias over projects have created a systemic imbalance between the power exercised by local governments and private investors and has transferred more of risk to the public sector. In doing so, I argue that the governments need to ensure fair transfer of risk and accountability to private partners through transparent contracts and institutionalised monitoring.


Political Science

Research Areas

Political Science


Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting

City or Country

Chicago, IL, USA

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