ABSTRACT. This paper discusses the changing use of the concept of “partnership” in three contexts: community partnership; partnership as part of public-private partnerships (PPP), and; partnership as the co-production of public goods. The paper introduces the politics of partnership as an aspect of the liberal democratic theory of governance and examines the notion in the context of devolution and deregulation. The paper finds the first two senses lacking in substance and more of a political strategy of neoliberal cooptation. The paper briefly examines the third sense of partnership as co-labor-ation as a means of enhancing democratic governance. pp. 16–30

Keywords: partnership; community; PPP; co-production; co-creation; democratic theory

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University of Waikato, New Zealand

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