Controlling Bureaucracies with Fire Alarms: Policy Instruments and Cross-Country Patterns
Dunlop, Claire A.
Radaelli, Claudio M.
Journal of European Public Policy
Taylor and Francis
Reason for embargo
The political control of the bureaucracy is a major theme in public administration scholarship, particularly in delegation theory. There is a wide range of policy instruments suitable for the purpose of control. In practice, however, there are economic and political limitations to deploying the full arsenal of control tools. We explore the implications of the costs of control by examining cross-country patterns of fire alarms. We identify and categorise a set of control instruments and their rationale using accountability typologies. We then code the presence or absence of different instruments by drawing on an original dataset of 14 instruments in a population of 17 European countries. Using configurational analysis, we analyse cross-country patterns. In the conclusions, we reflect on the patterns identified, their implications for controlling bureaucracy in advanced democracies and the literature on administrative traditions. We finally propose how our empirical findings may be extended to further explanatory analyses.
notes: This article is based on research carried out with the support of the European Research Council (ERC) grant (#230267) Analysis of Learning in Regulatory Governance, ALREG, directed by Claudio Radaelli. Dunlop and Radaelli gratefully acknowledge the support of the ERC. The dataset was coded and prepared by Dr Nicola Corkin, associate research fellow in ALREG. The authors would like to thank Dr Fabrizio De Francesco for his contribution to this part of the ALREG project. The authors wish to express their gratitude to the organisers and participants of the ‘Coping with Power Dispersion’ workshop at the University of Copenhagen, 13-14 December 2012. Previous versions of this paper were also presented at the UK Political Studies Association (PSA) annual conference in Cardiff, 25-27 March 2013, the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) annual conference in Prague, 10-12 April 2013 and the Europe@LSE seminar, LSE, 5 December 2013. We are grateful to Federica Bicchi, Jens Blom-Hansen, Nicola Corkin, Matt Flinders, Fabrizio Gilardi, Gilles Jeannot, Mathias Koenig-Archibugi, Martin Lodge, Martino Maggetti, Rod Rhodes, Mark Thatcher and Koen Verhoest, the three special issue editors and two anonymous referees for their insightful comments on earlier drafts. The usual disclaimer applies.
Vol. 21, Issue 9, pp. 1330 - 1349