Edited by David Levi-Faur
Chapter 5: Institutional Design and the Management of Regulatory Governance
Steven J. Balla The delegation of policymaking authority to public bureaucracies is a defining feature of contemporary democratic governance. Such delegation benefits elected officials immensely by, for example, bringing agency expertise to bear on complex economic and social problems (Bawn 1995). Delegation, however, also presents officeholders with the difficult task of influencing the behavior of organizations that possess the ability to act independently of even the most powerful political forces (Carpenter 2001). It is with this task in mind that legislatures and political executives throughout the world have provided themselves with instruments through which to manage delegated authority. The instruments of managing delegation fundamentally structure the institutional environments within which public bureaucracies craft, implement, and enforce regulatory decisions.1 Such instruments, for example, establish rules governing the access of citizens, organized interests, and elected officials to regulatory proceedings (Kerwin and Furlong 2011). In allocating access, these instruments have implications for the influence that various types of economic and societal actors exert over regulatory outputs and outcomes (Wood and Waterman 1994). The management of delegated authority is therefore a salient consideration in determining the extent to which regulatory agencies advance the public interest or, alternatively, are captured by specialized industry organizations (Christensen 2011; Croley 2011).2 This chapter lays out the behavioral and institutional contours of the management of delegated authority. The focus is mainly on delegation by the United States Congress, although consideration is also given to parliamentary democracies. It is common in research on delegation to distinguish between instruments of...
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