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Democratic Accountability and the Politics of Mass Administrative Reorganization

Forthcoming, British Journal of Political Science

NYU Wagner Research Paper No. 2714118

53 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2016  

Anthony M. Bertelli

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

John Andrew Sinclair

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Date Written: January 11, 2016

Abstract

Governments face different incentives when they reorganize many administrative agencies at one time rather than making infrequent, case-by-case changes. Our theory of mass administrative reorganizations posits that their politics is focused on government accountability for policymaking. Viewing mass reorganization as a structured decision, we argue that choices about independence, agency organization, and functional disposition have different impacts on the political costs of administrative policymaking. Analyzing novel data from a recent British reorganization with sequential logistic statistical models provides substantial support for our claims. Our study challenges the focus on organizational survival in the existing literature. By eschewing more fundamental political questions of democratic accountability, the prevailing approach masks essential politics, and in our data, all influence of conflict due to party and agency policy positions.

Keywords: Accountability, Termination, Agency, Reorganization, Termination, British Politics, Public Administration

JEL Classification: H11

Suggested Citation

Bertelli, Anthony M. and Sinclair, John Andrew, Democratic Accountability and the Politics of Mass Administrative Reorganization (January 11, 2016). Forthcoming, British Journal of Political Science ; NYU Wagner Research Paper No. 2714118. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2714118

Anthony M. Bertelli (Contact Author)

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

John Andrew Sinclair

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

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