The Politics of Delegation

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There is a growing interest in delegation to non-majoritarian institutions in Europe, following both the spread of principal-agent theory in political science and law and increasing delegation in practice. During the 1980s and 1990s, governments and parliaments in West European nations have delegated powers and functions to non-majoritarian bodies - the EU, independent central banks, constitutional courts and independent regulatory agencies. Whereas elected policymakers had been increasing their roles over several decades, delegation involves a remarkable reversal or at least transformation of their position. This volume examines key issues about the politics of delegation: how and why delegation has taken place; the institutional design of delegation to non-majoritarian institutions; the consequences of delegation to non-majoritarian institutions; the legitimacy of non-majoritarian institutions. The book addresses these questions both theoretically and empirically, looking at central areas of political life - central banking, the EU, the increasing role of courts and the establishment and impacts of independent regulatory agencies.