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The politics of agency death: ministers and the survival of government agencies in a parliamentary system

James, Oliver, Petrovsky, Nicolai, Moseley, Alice and Boyne, George Alexander 2016. The politics of agency death: ministers and the survival of government agencies in a parliamentary system. British Journal of Political Science 46 (4) , pp. 763-784. 10.1017/S0007123414000477

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Abstract

This article extends the theory of government agency survival from separation of powers to parliamentary government systems. It evaluates expectations of increased risk to agencies following transitions in government, prime minister or departmental minister, and from incongruence between the originally establishing and currently overseeing political executive. Using survival models for UK executive agencies between 1989 and 2012, the study finds that politics trumps performance. Ministers seek to make their mark by terminating agencies created by previous ministers, which is reinforced by high media attention to the agency. Performance against agency targets is not associated with higher termination risk, and replacement agencies do not perform any better than those that were terminated. Financial autonomy provides some protection for agencies that are less dependent on budgetary appropriations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0007-1234
Funders: ESRC
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2020 04:04
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/90183

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