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A Comparative Perspective on Parliamentary Legislative Activity and Bureaucratic Delegation

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Policy delegation and institutional control

An EU-funded project examined four parliamentary systems in order to better understand the delegation of legislative competence.

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Parliamentary democracies are known to delegate some policymaking capabilities to bureaucrats, creating an overlap between the executive and legislative branches. A kind of moral hazard can surface as a result of giving bureaucrats the chance to go against legislative preferences of the parliament. Although parliamentary legislation can counteract this, it can also lead to less efficient use of parliamentary resources. The CPAD (A comparative perspective on parliamentary legislative activity and bureaucratic delegation) project examined how preferences of legislating actors affect policy delegation. It used the parliamentary systems in France, Germany, Turkey and the United Kingdom, as examples. Since mainly theoretical research has been used to study this topic previously, this study focused on empirical research. The aim was to link bureaucratic policy delegation to the way a system is designed as well as to pinpoint preferences and political considerations. An in-depth qualitative analysis of specific cases of policy delegation was applied. The work may provide valuable insights into the mechanisms driving policy delegation, particularly in parliamentary systems.


Policy delegation, CPAD, legislators, bureaucrats, parliamentary, policymaking

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