Controlling Bureaucracies with Fire Alarms: Policy Instruments and Cross-Country Patterns
Dunlop, Claire A.
Radaelli, Claudio M.
Journal of European Public Policy
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 categorize 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.
European Research Council
publication-status: In preparation