Between commitment and control: varieties of delegation in the European postal sector
|Delegation; Government & Law; independent agencies; INDEPENDENT REGULATORY AGENCIES; INSTITUTIONS; Political Science; postal services; Public Administration; regulatory reform; RESPONSES; varieties of capitalism
|ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
|JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN PUBLIC POLICY
Postal regulation has changed dramatically within the European Union over the past decade. This article theorizes and empirically investigates domestic conditions which have shaped the institutional realization of regulatory reform. It seeks to explore how the commitment-control problem, inherent to any delegated setting, has been resolved in different countries. In which ways have national governments delegated regulatory powers to independent agencies and how do these operate in practice? Combining delegation theory and the variety of capitalism approach, expectations for three distinct varieties of delegation are formulated which are then exposed to empirical scrutiny studying the UK, Germany and France. The typology accounts for cross-country variance in de facto agency independence and regulatory practice, but contradicts patterns of formal delegation. In view of a striking discrepancy between formal arrangements and actual practice, the author makes a strong argument in favour of studying the dynamic and longitudinal effects of interaction.
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