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Partisan Politics and Institutional Choice in Public Bureaucracies: Evidence from Sweden

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Mikael Holmgren
Publicerad i Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Volym 28
Nummer/häfte 3
Sidor 355-370
ISSN 1053-1858
Publiceringsår 2018
Publicerad vid Statsvetenskapliga institutionen
Sidor 355-370
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1093/jopart/muy010
Ämnesord administrative arrangements, agencies, design, policy, delegation, expertise, models, Government & Law, Public Administration
Ämneskategorier Studier av offentlig förvaltning, Juridik och samhälle

Sammanfattning

Assuring successful delegation from elected representatives to unelected bureaucrats is an essential part of contemporary democratic governance and, to do so, politicians typically rely on administrative institutions that limit the feasible set of policies that bureaucrats can pursue. In this article, I suggest that precisely because administrative institutions are instruments of political control, partisan conflict over public policies often generates partisan conflict over institutional arrangements. To assess the empirical merits of this proposition, I analyze a unique dataset with detailed information on all administrative agencies enacted in the executive administration of Sweden between 1960 and 2014. I find that agencies are considerably more likely to be terminated when there is a conflict of interest between the enacting and sitting coalitions. Consistent with positive political theories of bureaucratic delegation, I conclude that partisan politics colors not only the substantive contents of public policies, but also the organization of the administrative state.

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