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  • Locations: London, United Kingdom; Washington, DC, United States;
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Cost Estimate: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:

UPDATED - United Kingdom - Business and the State: Privatization, Nationalization, and Public-Private Partnerships

Important: Program Changes due to COVID-19 

As a result of the University's decision to restrict nonessential travel abroad due to COVID-19, the international portion of the program, United Kingdom: Business and the State: Privatization, Nationalization, and Public-Private Partnerships, has been cancelled.

That said, the DC portion of the program will be offered as planned, now as a regular 3-credit open-enrollment course, IBUS 6202/PPPA 6077.  As scheduled, we will meet once per week as in past years (Thursday evening) during the 10-week summer term, with a mixture of lectures, cases, and guest speakers. Students local to the DC area are encouraged to participate in person. For distance and online students, arrangements will be made to have you join the on-campus sessions virtually. 

Students interested may register themselves through the open registration period, which will close on Sunday, May 17, 2020.

Course Registration Details: Cross-listed

CRN 32928, IBUS 6202.80
CRN 32934, PPPA 6077.80
​3 Credits 
Thursdays, 6:10 - 9:25 pm

Is this program for me?UK_Summer 18_brochure_Oldpic

Recent years have seen innovative thinking about the roles of business and the   state, and partnerships between the public and private sector. The 2020 US presidential race features proposals to nationalize health insurance and clean energy.  At the same time, the US administration has privatized public lands, and suggested moving mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and air traffic control to the private sector.  At the same time, public-private partnerships (PPPs) are gaining attention in the USA as a means of revitalizing crumbling infrastructure within limited budgets.

We look at the public-private challenges facing the USA through an international prism.  Many countries have experimented with nationalization, privatization, and PPPs, but not  more than the United Kingdom (UK). Our time in London is set in the broad context of business and the state in the USA, UK, and developing countries. and is designed to help us reflect on our own challenges form a new perspective. We seek to learn from the experience of country with similar challenges, but very different history and institutions. The evening course on-campus will take advantage of GW's Washington location with guest speakers from places like the USA's best-known state enterprise, Amtrak.

Business and the State is the longest-running GWSB study-abroad program.  The program grew out of discussions between former Dean David Fowler and Lord Colin Sharman, former Chairman of KPMG International.  The first group of GW faculty and students visited London in Summer 2001. Over 200 GW students are alumni of the program.

Our focal areas are:

  1. Ownership and management.  For example, does it matter that this course is offered at GW, rather than a state university, such as George Mason, Maryland, or UDC?  If so, how? We pay particular attention to ownership change from public to private sector (privatization) and the converse (nationalization). 
  2. Direct cooperation between government and business through public-private partnerships (PPP or P3).  PPPs are a hybrid form of (1) of particular interest and importance, wherein ownership is public, but management is private.

Most business-school courses address the technocratic (regulatory, policymaking, taxation) dimensions of the state.  This course seeks to place public-private interaction in its political context.  The courses will look at political as well as economic considerations, using cases drawn from a variety of industries including defense/security, financial services, energy, healthcare and telecoms, and examine impacts on firms, consumers, and workers in terms of management, employment, access, reliability, price, quality, and distributional equity.

The program includes a one-week trip to London to explore Britain’s 35-year experience with analysis and transfer of state assets to private ownership, and extensive use of public-private partnerships.  The itinerary includes visits with academics, policy analysts, and business leaders to gain insight into current assessment of privatization as a policy in the UK. We will discuss the lessons learned from the UK Parliamentary System, and explore the implications of the UK experience for policies in other countries.  Our itinerary includes trips out of London and cultural activities.

Program innovation extends to the participants themselves.  


This program is open to graduate students and qualified undergraduate students. Eligible students must be in good academic standing (GPA of 3.0 or above) at the time of application deadline.

Pre-requisites: exposure to economics at level of MBAD 6242, PPPA 6003 or 6014, ECON 6280 or 6283.

Academic Credit:

6 credits are awarded for successful completion of IBUS 6202/PPPA 6077 and IBUS 6297/PPPA 6085.

This program fulfills general elective credit for Master's and MBA programs. Students may petition to have study away courses count towards Graduate School of Business Certificates or other Master's degree requirements by speaking with their academic advisor. 

Undergraduate applicants should consult with their advisors to see if this course will fulfill degree requirements; otherwise this course may serve as an unrestricted elective.

Calendar:UK_Summer 18_brochure_pic2

*Please refer to each course listing for the corresponding dates


GW Professor:

Dr. Robert Weiner, (, Professor of International Business, Public Policy & Public Administration, and International Affairs.

Additional Program Information:

2018 Syllabus: STAP United Kingdom 2018 Syllabus IB 6202 - PPPA 6077.pdf

Check out former students’ perspectives on the program through the following blogs


This program is administered by Global & Experiential Education in The George Washington University School of Business.
Feel free to contact us by phone (202.994.3681) or email ( with your questions.