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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

Chapter:
(p.651) 22 Dimensions of Citizen Control
Source:
Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies
Author(s):

Kaare Strøm (Contributor Webpage)

Wolfgang C. Müller (Contributor Webpage)

Torbjörn Bergman (Contributor Webpage)

Benjamin Nyblade

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019829784X.003.0022

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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