This chapter introduces the topic of the study. The terms of the study are defined; the choice of jurisdictions is presented; and the comparative methodology is explained. The use of the term ‘delegation’ is used to suggest no more than a transfer of authority, whereby the exercise of power is conveyed from a governmental actor to a private entity in such a way as to confer on the private delegate a degree of legitimacy of action. The understanding of ‘governmental power’ extends beyond powers that are physically coercive, to powers of furthering economic and social development, managing the economy, and providing for the welfare of citizens. ‘Private parties’ are defined as those who act with self-interest. The challenges of adopting a comparative methodology are explored, and it is explained that the method adopted in the book is functional, focusing on a ‘specific topical comparison’.
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