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Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies$
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Kaare Strøm, Wolfgang C. Müller, and Torbjörn Bergman

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198297840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/019829784X.001.0001

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Dimensions of Citizen Control

Dimensions of Citizen Control

(p.651) 22 Dimensions of Citizen Control
Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies

Kaare Strøm (Contributor Webpage)

Wolfgang C. Müller (Contributor Webpage)

Torbjörn Bergman (Contributor Webpage)

Benjamin Nyblade

Oxford University Press

Representative democracy means delegation, and delegation implies the risk of agency problems. Parliamentary democracy is a particular delegation regime, a way to structure the democratic policy process, and an attempt to solve agency problems. This chapter finds that there are persistent and essential cross-national differences between European parliamentary democracies along two dimensions of citizen control: partisan influence and external constraints. This chapter’s investigation leads us to conclude that there has been a decline in the strength and cohesion of political parties and an enhancement of international, sub-national, judicial, and direct democratic external constraints. In most respects, these changes strengthen ex post controls and weaken ex ante screening devices.

Keywords:   central banks, direct democracy, European Union, external constraints, federalism, fiscal federalism, internal constraints, judicial activism, party cohesion, presidential powers

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