Dimensions of Citizen Control

Kaare Strøm, Wolfgang C. Müller, Torbjörn Bergman and Benjamin Nyblade

in Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780198297840
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602016 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

Dimensions of Citizen Control

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Representative democracy means delegation, and delegation implies the risk of agency problems. Parliamentary democracy is a particular delegation regime, a way to structure the democratic policy process, and an attempt to solve agency problems. This chapter finds that there are persistent and essential cross-national differences between European parliamentary democracies along two dimensions of citizen control: partisan influence and external constraints. This chapter’s investigation leads us to conclude that there has been a decline in the strength and cohesion of political parties and an enhancement of international, sub-national, judicial, and direct democratic external constraints. In most respects, these changes strengthen ex post controls and weaken ex ante screening devices.

Keywords: central banks; direct democracy; European Union; external constraints; federalism; fiscal federalism; internal constraints; judicial activism; party cohesion; presidential powers

Chapter.  26752 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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