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Principal-Agent Analysis and International Delegation: Red Herrings, Theoretical Clarifications, and Empirical Disputes. Bruges Political Research Papers No. 2, February 2007

Pollack, Mark. (2007) Principal-Agent Analysis and International Delegation: Red Herrings, Theoretical Clarifications, and Empirical Disputes. Bruges Political Research Papers No. 2, February 2007. [Working Paper] (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    The principal-agent (PA) approach has recently become the dominant approach to the study of delegation in both comparative and international politics. Despite its purported benefits, a growing number of critics have taken exception to both the theoretical assumptions and the empirical claims of PA analysis. Such critiques, it is argued, fall into three groups. The first are the red herrings, the critiques that arise from a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of what PA approaches and their practitioners actually argue. The second and more interesting set of critiques raise the distinction between agents and trustees, questioning applicability of PA analysis to the latter – although it is argued that this distinction needlessly dichotomizes a continuum of agent discretion and a range of motivations for delegation, and strictly defined is of little relevance to the universe of empirical cases that scholars might seek to explain. The third and final group of critiques argues that PA approaches systematically fail to predict correctly either (a) the reasons and the conditions under which political principals delegate powers to agents, or (b) the conditions under which agents enjoy autonomy and influence in domestic and international politics.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Principal-agent theory; delegation; international politics.
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > foreign/security policy 1993--(includes CFSP/CESDP/ESS)
    Other > integration theory (see also researching and writing the EU in this section)
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > decision making/policy-making
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > College of Europe (Brugge) > Bruges Political Research Papers
    Depositing User: Michele Chang
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2008
    Page Range: p. 20
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:47
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/7344

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