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Financing as Governance

Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Forthcoming

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/08

41 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2011  

Fleur E. Johns

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law


Built environments, and social and legal interactions through them, are powerfully shaped by the arrangements by which their making and remaking are financed. There is a rich and extensive literature analysing shifts towards private and/or offshore financing of infrastructure in broad terms and their implications for governmental accountability and so-called public interest values. At the level of mundane regulatory decision and technique, however, the ways in which governance may be affected by such financing arrangements have not been well mapped. The article considers some governance implications of the practice of funding urban infrastructure projects by recourse to global financial markets. It focuses, in particular, upon how regulatory decision-making may be shaped by technical practices of financial deal-making, financial modelling and related re-configurations of institutional or jurisdictional space. These implications are explored by reference to some recent examples of urban toll-road financing in Sydney and decision-making and analysis surrounding those examples. As such, it joins with other recent scholarship in probing political dimensions of technical forms of knowledge and practice that have frequently fallen between the cracks of legal scholarship’s interdisciplinary inquiries to date.

Keywords: governance, international deal making, financial modeling, project finance, legal theory, global cities

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33

Suggested Citation

Johns, Fleur E., Financing as Governance. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Forthcoming; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/08. Available at SSRN:

Fleur E. Johns (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law ( email )

UNSW Australia
Sydney, New South Wales 2052
+61 2 9385 9893 (Phone)


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