[CSH-CPR Urban Workshop #170] Incomplete Contracts, Residual Control Rights and Accountability in PPP Transport Projects (C. Rajagopal)

[CSH-CPR Urban Workshop #170] Incomplete Contracts, Residual Control Rights and Accountability in PPP Transport Projects (C. Rajagopal)

Event Details

The Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) & Centre for Policy Research (CPR)

are pleased to invite you to an Urban Workshop (n°170)



(Founder & Director, The Entrepreneurship and Partnerships Lab)


Incomplete Contracts, Residual Control Rights and Accountability in PPP Transport Projects


Tuesday, 30 April 2024, at 3:45 pm IST onwards

The session will be online over ZOOM, to register kindly fill out THIS FORM

About the talk: This workshop will explore the ownership, control, accountability and the entrepreneurial state in mechanisms of privatisation such as Public Private Partnerships (PPP). Specifically, it will focus on litigation in PPPs, to show how incomplete contracts influence accountabilities between government institutions and private sector players. The workshop is based on a paper by Champaka Rajagopal in which the findings are in contrast with the traditional idea of the entrepreneurial state as one that withdraws from public accountability to support pro-business alliances or that fragmented public accountabilities in public-private contracts are reduced to performance control. By mobilising five cases of litigation across PPP project cycles for airport and national highways modernisation projects in India, Rajagopal argues that public and private actors in PPP arrangements navigate overlapping responsibilities in a context where self and public interest are intertwined, while employing diverse strategies to hedge or reconcile the allocation of financial risks. The incomplete contracts lens is crucial in uncovering how contracting parties leverage information asymmetries in the absence of contractual conditions in long term-contracts, to claim residual control rights. This workshop will also explore third-party interference, bureaucratic resolution, competition and risk hedging to show how public and private parties assume residual and grounded accountabilities that both diminish and strengthen the state’s accomplishment of welfarist goals. It will also offer a research methodology to bridge key empirical gaps in opaque contractual governance of PPP projects in India.


Champaka Rajagopal is a practicing urbanist with a passion for critical and innovation thinking. A reflexive practitioner, an experiential thinker, learner, researcher and educator, she is currently Founder & Director at The Entrepreneurship and Partnerships Lab. She is also Professor Affliliate, Urban School, SciencesPo, Paris and Trustee on the Board of the IJURR Foundation, UK. In her two decades of practice across cities in the global South and North, she has advanced design of policies, regulatory processes, instruments and mechanisms that are open and respond to place. Since 2003, with multi-national corporations, she co-led and worked on large statutory plans, including the Draft Development Plan for Greater Mumbai 2034 and Revised Master Plan 2015, Bangalore, where the focus was to address regulatory rigidity and regulatory capture.
Ms Rajagopal has a doctoral degree from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in Inclusive Governance, Planning and International Development Studies, a Master’s Degree in Urban Design from the University of California at Berkeley, USA, and an undergraduate degree in the architecture of the built environment from the Centre for Environment Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad, India.

This is the hundred and seventy (170) in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi, and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on the city’s development issues and address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society, and politics. For further information, please contact: Stéphanie Tawa Lama of CSH at tawalama@ehess.frMukta Naik at mukta@cprindia.org, or Marie-Hélène Zerah at marie-helene.zerah@ird.fr

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