A Philosophical Perspective on Regulation
Chapter 5: Outsourcing democracy
Chapter 5 examines the claim that outsourcing legislation would contribute to enhanced democratic control. Two types of Principal-Agent relationships are contrasted: the relation between outsourcer and outsourcee and the relation between electorate and representative. On the basis of criteria borrowed from exchange-theory, it is argued that the distribution of power tends to be more advantageous for the outsourcer than for the electorate. Since in an outsourcing regime Agents tend to take the role of Principal, thus creating an additional intermediate layer, the possibilities for democratic control are further reduced. Furthermore, those who are vulnerable to malperformance by the Agent may not be (fully) represented by the Principal, who does not directly suffer the consequences of such malperformance itself.
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