The Legitimacy of Private Actors Wielding State Coercive Power in New Zealand
50 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2018 Last revised: 22 May 2018
Date Written: April 3, 2018
States are increasingly conferring power upon private actors to perform traditionally public services. In New Zealand, this extends to private actors wielding state coercive power. This paper explores the accountability of private actors wielding coercive power, and therefore how legitimate devolution of power is to them. Transparency and effectiveness are also, more briefly, examined. Analysis reveals that if a private actor does not share key goals and values with its public sector counterpart, or with the instrument establishing the coercive power, moral hazard may develop as the actor seeks to pursue its own agenda at the expense of its obligations. Loss of legitimacy can result, particularly if actors appear to be morally culpable for ineffective use of state coercive power. Ultimately, interim, ongoing accountability mechanisms and robust transparency measures must be properly implemented, if legitimacy of the devolution of power to private actors is to be sustained.
Keywords: state coercive power; public-private partnerships; legitimacy, accountability.
JEL Classification: K00.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation