Independent Regulatory Agencies in Western Europe
Chapter 5: Interdependent Delegation: The Diffusion of Independent Regulators Agencies
5. Interdependent delegation: the diﬀusion of independent regulatory agencies INTRODUCTION In the age of globalization, the statement that countries are interdependent has become commonplace. This idea is, however, much older. In the social sciences it dates at least to 1889, when at an anthropology conference Sir Francis Galton criticized the work of a fellow scholar for not taking into account the possibility of reciprocal cultural inﬂuence among societies (Ross and Homer, 1976). Since then, ‘Galton’s problem’ has been used to indicate a technical problem that potentially aﬄicts all comparative studies: namely that the assumption that observations are independent from each other does not hold. This issue is treated in most methodology textbooks, although just in passing. In many cases, comparative researchers acknowledge the problem, but then move on as if it were not really important. So far we have done the same; in Chapter 4 we compared delegation to independent regulators in 17 countries and seven sectors by assuming that the formal independence of a regulator in one country and sector is not related to the formal independence of regulators in other countries and sectors.1 This assumption is abandoned in this chapter. The reason is not methodological but substantive. In eﬀect, a consequence of interdependence is that policies can diﬀuse internationally. In other words, delegation to IRAs may have taken place in an interdependent process where this institutional form has diﬀused across countries and sectors. The pattern we saw in Figure 1.1 is a...
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