The Routledge Handbook of State-Owned Enterprises  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of State-Owned Enterprises

ISBN 9781032235998
Published December 13, 2021 by Routledge
678 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

State-owned enterprises make up roughly 10 percent of the world economy, yet they are woefully understudied. This handbook offers the first synthesis of the topic since the 1980s and offers a comprehensive reference for a generation.

The authors provide a detailed explanation of the theory that underpins the expansion of state-owned enterprises in the 21st century. Each chapter delivers an overview of current knowledge, as well as identifying issues and relevant debates for future research. The authors explain how state-owned enterprises are used in both developed and developing countries and offer an insight into complex and fascinating organizations such as the German municipal conglomerates or the multinational companies owned by states. New modes of governance and regulation have been invented to make sure they act in the public interest. This handbook brings together a wealth of international scholars, offering multiple theoretical perspectives to help shape a brave new world.

It will be of interest to teachers and students of Economics, Public Administration and Business, academics, established researchers and PhD students seeking rigorous literature reviews on specific aspects of SOEs, as well as practitioners and decision makers in international organizations.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

List of contributors

Preface and acknowledgements


Luc Bernier, Massimo Florio and Philippe Bance


The scope of the phenomenon

1 History of western state-owned enterprises: from the Industrial

Revolution to the age of globalization

Giuseppe Bognetti

2 Local public enterprises as providers of public services in

European countries: shifts and dynamics

Hellmut Wollmann

3 State-owned enterprises: rising, falling and returning? A brief overview

Malcolm G. Bird

4 State-owned enterprises and the public mission: a multidimensional lens

Maddalena Sorrentino

5 Varieties of state capitalism and reformed state-owned enterprises

in the new millennium

Stefano Clò


Perspectives on history and geography

6 Concepts of German Gemeinwirtschaftslehre and the changed role

of public enterprises

Gabriel Obermann and Thomas Kostal

7 State-owned enterprise and privatisation: some lessons from the UK

David Parker

8 On traits of legitimate internationally present state-owned enterprises

Przemyslaw Kowalski

9 State-owned enterprises and industrial development in Latin America

Francisco Castañeda, Diego Barría Traverso and Jean-Baptiste Carpentier

10 The Industrial policy role of European state-invested enterprises

in the 21st century: continuity and change across phases of

domestic and global transformation

Roberto Cardinale

11 State-owned enterprises in contemporary China

Wendy Leutert


Approaches to the study of SOEs

12 Economics of state-owned enterprises

Talis J. Putninš

13 State-owned enterprises as institutional market actors: a gradual

institutional change perspective on domestic SOEs in the marketization

of public services

Lene Tolstrup Christensen

14 Legal aspects of public enterprises: remarks based on a comparative

study of French, European and American legislation

Fabien Bottini

15 Don’t get too excited: the structural limits of state-owned

enterprises in capitalist economies

David McDonald

16 Motivation and performance in state-owned enterprises

Johan Willner and Sonja Grönblom

17 The politics of state-owned enterprises: the case of the rail sector

Jane Lethbridge

18 Principals and agents: The relationship between governments

and state-owned enterprises

Sandra van Thiel, Marieke van Genugten and Bart Voorn


Financial dimensions of public ownership

19 Public stock ownership

Giacomo Corneo

20 Financialisation and the future for SOEs

Ben Fine and Kate Bayliss

21 Sovereign wealth funds as international institutional investors:

a re-evaluation

Chen Meng

22 Contemporary development financial institutions in Europe

Daniela Vandone, Marco Frigerio and Stefano Clò

23 State-owned enterprise hybrids

Aidan Vining and Claude Laurin


Issues about governance

24 Corporate governance of state-owned enterprises: conceptualization,

challenges and perspectives for the public corporate governance field

Ulf Papenfuß

25 Corporate governance in state-owned enterprises: the role of

informal institutions

Igor Postula and Aleksandra Wasowska

26 Public accountability of state-owned enterprises: approaches

and research trends

Dorothea Greiling and Christina Schaefer

27 Utilities policy and reform: the changing relationship between

citizens and SOEs

Manto Lampropoulou

28 Vox populi, vox dei: state-owned enterprises in the court of

public opinion

Carole Rentsch, Fabian Liechti and Matthias Finger

29 State-owned organization strategy: at the interface of society

and business

Taïeb Hafsi


The activities and performance of SOEs

30 The performance of public enterprises

Sergio Perelman and Pierre Pestieau

31 State-owned enterprises as policy tools

Michael Howlett and M. Ramesh

32 (Re)municipalisation: a new era for ownership and control

of local public service delivery?

Daniel Albalate, Germà Bel and Eoin Reeves


SOEs and innovation: a new frontier

33 Mission-oriented public organizations for knowledge creation

Paolo Castelnovo and Massimo Florio

34 Reconsidering innovation in state-owned enterprises

Matteo Landoni

35 The role of state-owned enterprises as drivers of innovation

María del Carmen Sánchez-Carreira, Xavier Vence and Óscar Rodil-Marzábal


Luc Bernier, Massimo Florio and Philippe Bance


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Luc Bernier is Jarislowsky Chair of Public Sector Management, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada.

Massimo Florio is Professor of Public Economics at the University of Milan, Italy, and the President of the CIRIEC International Scientific Commission Public Enterprises/Public Services.

Philippe Bance is Professor of Economics at the University of the French Antilles and the President of the International Scientific Council of CIRIEC (International Centre of Research and Information of Public, Social and Cooperative Economy).


“This refreshing handbook rethinks completely all aspects of state ownership of enterprises and financial firms and develops new theoretical approaches to understand their areas of action and their hybrid ownership structures. Well grounded in modern economic theory, the handbook provides critical approaches to the study of the state as an entrepreneur, financier and as an innovator. This handbook will become a key reference for scholars interested in economics, public policy, and public management.” — Aldo Musacchio, Professor, Brandeis University, Massachusetts, USA

“Essential reading for scholars, policy-makers and the general public who want a handle on the core contemporary challenges facing State-Owned Enterprises today.” — Professor Judith Clifton, University of Cantabria and Visiting Scholar, University of Cambridge

“This much-needed book from very well-known specialists in public and cooperative economics will spare you years of work to grasp what is new with the current structures and practice of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the 21st century. The authors discuss these matters from three complementary angles: historical, empirical and theoretical. In the current climate, no one should discard any new role for any type of SOE, before having read this timely and most welcome handbook.” — Jean-Michel Glachant, Loyola de Palacio Professor in European energy policy and Director, Florence School of Regulation (European University Institute)

“Despite the modesty of its title, this ‘Handbook’ is much more than a manual. It presents all the available data and thoroughly tackles the scientific analyses relating to state-owned enterprises, in all their fields of activity and across all continents, with accuracy and precision. From now on, this will be my go-to reference guide!” — Jacques Fournier, former secretary general of the French government, former president of the SNCF, author of L’économie des besoins (2013)