The Role of Political Ideology in the Structural Design of New Governance Agencies
Public Administration Review, Forthcoming
41 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2005
This paper employs theories of structural politics and delegation to develop a set of theoretical propositions about legislative delegations of authority to quasigovernmental entities, operating more or less at arms length from political authorities. Legislators have the incentive to condition their choice of the structure of an organization they charge with implementing a policy on their own political attitudes toward good government. The quasi-independence of quangos provides credibility for legislators to commit to a process that takes policymaking out of their hands, while still creating a structure that increases the expected likelihood of achieving their policy goals. Theoretical implications are empirically examined using data on the financial autonomy of Dutch public bodies. The results support the theoretical argument that it is very important to consider politicians' ideologies directly in governance studies as they form the key component of structural politics.
Keywords: public management, arms-length governance
JEL Classification: H11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation