Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies
Professor of Political Science Kaare Strm, Kaare Strøm, Wolfgang Müller, Torbjörn Bergman, Torbjorn Bergman, Wolfgang C. Müller
Oxford University Press, Nov 20, 2003 - Political Science - 764 pages
Parliamentary democracy is the most common way of organizing delegation and accountability in contemporary democracies. Yet knowledge of this type of regime has been incomplete and often unsystematic. Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies offers new conceptual clarity on the topic. Taking principal-agent theory as its framework, the work illustrates how a variety of apparently unrelated representation issues can now be understood. This procedure allows scholarship to move well beyond what have previously been cloudy and confusing debates aimed at defining the virtues and perils of parliamentarism. This new empirical investigation includes all seventeen West European parliamentary democracies. These countries are compared in a series of cross-national tables and figures, and seventeen country chapters provide a wealth of information on four discrete stages in the delegation process: delegation from voters to parliamentary representatives, delegation from parliament to the prime minister and cabinet, delegation within the cabinet, and delegation from cabinet ministers to civil servants. Each chapter illustrates how political parties serve as bonding instruments which align incentives and permit citizen control of the policy process. This is complemented by a consideration of external constraints, such as courts, central banks, corporatism, and the European Union, which can impinge on national-level democratic delegation. The concluding chapters go on to consider how well the problems of delegation and accountability are solved in these countries. Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies provides an unprecedented guide to contemporary European parliamentary democracies. As democratic governance is transformed at the dawn of the twenty-first century, it illustrates the important challenges faced by the parliamentary democracies of Western Europe.
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absolute majority administrative adverse selection agency loss agency problems agenda agents Althingi appointment Article Austria Belgium bill Bundesrat Bundestag cabinet members cabinet ministers cent chain of delegation chamber Chapter citizens civil servants civil service cohesion committees confidence votes constitutional amendment Council countries Court decision-making decisions delegation and accountability democratic Denmark election electoral system European ex ante ex post executive external constraints federal Fianna Fáil Finland formal government’s important individual ministers institutions Ireland Italy legislation Luxembourg mechanisms ministerial moral hazard Müller no-confidence votes Norway Parliament parliamentary democracy parliamentary dissolution parliamentary government parliamentary majority parliamentary party parliamentary systems party system party’s PM’s political parties politicians Portugal President presidential Prime Minister principal procedure proposal questions referendum reform Republic resign responsible Riksdag role rules seats single-party Storting Strøm Sweden Taoiseach tion University Press veto voters Western Europe Yes Yes