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The consequences of delegation to independent agencies : separation of powers, discursive governance and the regulation of telecommunications in Germany

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Gehring, Thomas

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Abstract "Whereas the delegation of regulatory powers is usually examined from the principal's perspective, this article explores the consequences of delegation for the regulatory output. Empirically, it finds that the dissolution of the original German postal authority led to the establishment of a system of divided labour in which different actors, including an (almost) independent regulatory agency, depend on each other's performance of specialized functions. Theoretically, it contributes to the ongoing debate over the role and operation of independent agencies in two main respects. First, based on the modern theory of social systems, it draws attention to the fact that the reform process was characterized by an increased functional differentiation of institutionalized decision-making. Second, drawing on the Habermasian theory of communicative action, it is argued that functional differentiation supports the transformation of interaction from interest-based bargaining to deliberative arguing both in the legislative and the administrative arenas. As political actors are made unable to resort to their power resources, reasons become a key source of influence." (author's abstract)
Keywords regulation; supervisory authority; division of labor; social system; decision making; decision making process
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Method documentation
Document language English
Publication Year 2004
Page/Pages p. 677-698
Journal European Journal of Political Research, 43 (2004) 4
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne