The Pursuit of Political Control by Multiple Principals

Journal of Politics, Vol. 67, No. 1, pp. 39-49, 2005

Posted: 4 Jun 2005

See all articles by Andrew B. Whitford

Andrew B. Whitford

University of Georgia - Department of Public Administration and Policy

Abstract

I examine how the legislature and the president sequentially enable and constrain agencies in a tug-of-war over the exercise of bureaucratic discretion, partly in response to past political interventions. I provide evidence from a duration analysis of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's enforcement of hazard waste law for the acceleration and deceleration of policy implementation in response to sequential interventions by multiple, competing principals. I document the use of agenda-setting and solution-forcing statutes by Congress, and case clearance mechanisms by the president. Sequenced political control means that agencies face shifting political expectations, caused in part by how the agency responds to past control attempts. While previous empirical research has portrayed a largely static world in which Congress and the president have influence, this study reveals a dynamic portrayal in which there is move and counter-move from these principals.

Keywords: Superfund, environmental regulation, political control, bureaucratic politics

JEL Classification: H11, K20, Q48

Suggested Citation

Whitford, Andrew B., The Pursuit of Political Control by Multiple Principals. Journal of Politics, Vol. 67, No. 1, pp. 39-49, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=734544

Andrew B. Whitford (Contact Author)

University of Georgia - Department of Public Administration and Policy ( email )

Athens, GA 30602
United States
706-542-2898 (Phone)
706-583-0610 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://andrewwhitford.com

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