Epistemic Communities and Two Goals of Delegation: Hormone Growth Promoters in the European Union
Dunlop, Claire A.
Science and Public Policy
Beech Tree Publishing
The delegation literature tells us that decision-makers delegate power to agents to achieve efficiency or credibility (or both). Critically, however, the successful delivery of each of these implies very different levels of control over their agent by the principal. This paper deploys principal–agent modelling to explore how this logic works with epistemic agents. It explores the implications of two epistemic community’s contrasting de facto independence from European Commission decision-makers for the delegation goals satisfied in formulating policy on hormone growth promoters. Analysis supported the view that to deliver policy efficiency an epistemic community must have low autonomy from the political principal. Policy credibility was achieved when decision-makers selected an epistemic community whose views were socially legitimate.
This paper is based on doctoral research funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council studentship R00429834387. A previous version of the paper was presented at the European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Regulatory Governance conference at the University of Bath, 7–8 September 2006. The author is grateful to Peter Haas, Andy Hindmoor, Oliver James, Claudio Radaelli and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions. The usual disclaimer applies.
Version reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Copyright © Beech Tree Publishing 2010