De facto independence after delegation: A fuzzy-set analysis
Article first published online: 30 OCT 2007
2007 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
Regulation & Governance
Volume 1, Issue 4, pages 271–294, December 2007
How to Cite
Maggetti, M. (2007), De facto independence after delegation: A fuzzy-set analysis. Regulation & Governance, 1: 271–294. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5991.2007.00023.x
- Issue published online: 30 OCT 2007
- Article first published online: 30 OCT 2007
- Accepted for publication 24 August 2007.
- fuzzy-set analysis;
- regulatory agency
The phenomenon of delegating public authority from elected politicians (or ministries headed by elected politicians) to formally independent regulatory agencies (RAs) is becoming increasingly widespread. This paper examines the relation between formal independence, as prescribed in the constitutions of agencies, and de facto independence. Toward this end, it conceptualizes and assesses de facto independence of RAs, and discusses organizational, institutional, and political explanations for divergence from formal independence. The complex relations between de facto and formal independence are examined with a cross-national, cross-sectoral comparison of 16 Western European RAs using fuzzy-set analysis. The results show that formal independence is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for explaining variations in the de facto independence of agencies. Other factors, such as the lifecycle of agencies, veto players, and European networks of agencies, have a decisive impact.