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Legal and regulatory barriers to effective public-private partnership governance in Kazakhstan

Nikolai Mouraviev (Dundee Business School, University of Abertay Dundee, Dundee, UK)
Nada K. Kakabadse (Henley Business School, University of Reading, Henley-on-Thames, UK)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 13 April 2015




The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical assessment of legal and regulatory impediments to effective governance of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Kazakhstan.


The qualitative study develops propositions from the PPP literature and then tests them against findings from in-depth interviews. Interviewees have been selected by a purposeful sampling from PPP projects in Kazakhstan as well as from national and regional PPP centres.


The identified barriers to effective PPP management include irregularities in the PPP legal framework, such as lack of legal definition of a PPP and controversy with the government guarantee’s legal status for its long-term payments to partnerships; bureaucratic tariff setting for partnership services; non-existent opportunity for private asset ownership; and excessive government regulation of PPP workers’ wage rates.

Practical implications

The partners’ opposing perspectives on a number of PPP issues show that management needs to identify and carefully reconcile stakeholder values in a partnership in order to achieve more effective PPP governance. Practitioners, particularly those in the public agencies, have to be concerned with ways to reduce the government overregulation of the private operators, which is likely to result in greater PPP flexibility in management and, ultimately, higher efficiency in delivering the public services.


By elucidating multiple examples of overregulation and PPPs’ inefficiency, the paper demonstrates that the government dominance in PPP management is conceptually inappropriate. Instead, the government should adopt the concept of co-production and manage its relations with the private sector partner in a collaborative fashion.



Mouraviev, N. and Kakabadse, N.K. (2015), "Legal and regulatory barriers to effective public-private partnership governance in Kazakhstan", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 181-197.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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