Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Legislative Gridlock and Bureaucratic Politics in the European Union

Abstract

How does the risk of gridlock affect the type of legislative output? Do bureaucratic agents expand their activities when they can expect that the principals are unable to overrule them? This article introduces a novel approach for calculating the risk of gridlock in bicameral legislatures in order to estimate its impact on bureaucratic activities, combining data on all secondary and tertiary acts of the European Union (EU) from 1983 to 2009. The findings reveal that bureaucratic activities expand when the risk of gridlock increases and an overruling of tertiary acts becomes less likely. This may sustain the EU's overall decision-making productivity, but its bureaucratic nature may raise further questions about democratic legitimacy and principal-agent problems in the representation of interests.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All
*

Department of Government, University of Essex (email: djunge@essex.ac.uk); University of Mannheim (email: koenig@uni-mannheim.de); German Research Institute for Public Administration Speyer (email: bernd.luig@mzes.uni-mannheim.de). Earlier versions were presented at the Conference ‘Inclusion Completed, Adaptation Successful? What Divides New and Old Members in the European Union, 6 Years On?’ at the Central European University in Budapest on 14 May 2010, at the Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim on 19 February 2013 and at the 3rd Annual General Conference of the European Political Science Association in Barcelona on 20 June 2013. The authors contributed equally. We wish to thank the anonymous reviewers and the editor for valuable comments that led to an in-depth analysis of bicameral decision making in the European Union. Online appendices and data replication sets are available at http://dx.doi.org/doi: 10.1017/S0007123414000027.

Footnotes
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Eduardo Alemán Ernesto Calvo . 2010. Unified Government, Bill Approval, and the Legislative Weight of the President. Comparative Political Studies 43 (4):511534.

Jens Blom-Hansen . 2011. The EU Comitology System in Theory and Practice. Keeping an Eye on the Commission? Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

John C. Bradbury W. Mark Crain . 2001. Legislative Organization and Government Spending: Cross-Country Evidence. Journal of Public Economics 82 (3):309325.

Thomas Bräuninger Thomas König . 1999. The Checks and Balances of Party Federalism: German Federal Government in a Divided Legislature. European Journal of Political Research 36 (2):207234.

Ernesto Calvo Iñaki Sagarzazu . 2011. Legislator Success in Committee: Gatekeeping Authority and the Loss of Majority Control. American Journal of Political Science 55 (1):115.

Fang-Yi Chiou Lawrence S Rothenberg . 2008. Comparing Legislators and Legislatures: The Dynamics of Legislative Gridlock Reconsidered. Political Analysis 16 (2):197212.

Richard S. Conley Marija A. Bekafigo . 2010. ‘No Irish Need Apply’? Veto Players and Legislative Productivity in the Republic of Ireland, 1949–2000. Comparative Political Studies 43 (1):91118.

Gary W. Cox Mathew D. McCubbins . 2005. Setting the Agenda: Responsible Party Government in the US House of Representatives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gary W. Cox Mathew D. McCubbins . 2007. Legislative Leviathan: Party Government in the House. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

David Epstein Sharyn O'Halloran . 1999. Delegating Powers: A Transaction Cost Politics Approach to Policy Making Under Separate Powers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Argelina C. Figueiredo Fernando Limongi . 2000. Presidential Power, Legislative Organization, and Party Behavior in Brazil. Comparative Politics 32 (2):151170.

Fabio Franchino . 2007. The Powers of the Union. Delegation in the EU. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jonathan Golub . 2007. Survival Analysis and European Union Decision-Making. European Union Politics 8 (2):155179.

Jonathan Golub Bernard Steunenberg . 2007. How Time Affects EU Decision-Making. European Union Politics 8 (4):555566.

Thomas H. Hammond Jack H. Knott . 1996. Who Controls the Bureaucracy? Presidential Power, Congressional Dominance, Legal Constraints, and Bureaucratic Autonomy in a Model of Multi-Institutional Policy-Making. Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization 12 (1):119166.

Robin Hertz Dirk Leuffen . 2011. Too Big to Run? Analysing the Impact of Enlargement on the Speed of EU Decision-Making. European Union Politics 12 (2):193215.

Liesbet Hooghe , Ryan Bakker , Anna Brigevich , Catherine De Vries , Erica Edwards , Gary Marks , Jan Rovny , Marco R. Steenbergen Milada Vachudova . 2010. Reliability and Validity of the 2002 and 2006 Chapel Hill Expert Surveys on Party Positioning. European Journal of Political Research 49 (5):687703.

William Howell , Scott Adler , Charles Cameron Charles. Riemann . 2000. Divided Government and the Legislative Productivity of Congress, 1945–94. Legislative Studies Quarterly 25 (2):285312.

John D. Huber Charles R. Shipan . 2002. Deliberate Discretion? The Institutional Foundations of Bureaucratic Autonomy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Simon Hug . 2003. Endogenous Preferences and Delegation in the European Union. Comparative Political Studies 36 (1/2):4174.

Philip Keefer David Stasavage . 2003. The Limits of Delegation: Veto Players, Central Bank Independence, and the Credibility of Monetary Policy. American Political Science Review 97 (3):407423.

Thomas König . 2007. Divergence or Convergence? From Ever-Growing to Ever-Slowing European Legislative Decision Making. European Journal of Political Research 46 (3):417444.

Thomas König Bernd Luig . 2012. Party Ideology and Legislative Agendas: Estimating Contextual Policy Positions for the Study of EU Decision-Making. European Union Politics 13 (4):604625.

Keith Krehbiel . 1998. Pivotal Politics: A Theory of US Lawmaking. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Arthur Lupia Mathew D. McCubbins . 1994. Who Controls? Information and the Structure of Legislative Decision Making. Legislative Studies Quarterly 19 (3):361384.

Giandomenico Majone . 2001. Nonmajoritarian Institutions and the Limits of Democratic Governance: A Political Transaction-Cost Approach. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 157 (1):5778.

Gary Marks Marco Steenbergen . 2002. Understanding Political Contestation in the European Union. Comparative Political Studies 35 (8):879892.

Peter Moser . 1999. Checks and Balances, and the Supply of Central Bank Independence. European Economic Review 43 (8):15691593.

William H Riker . 1992. The Justification of Bicameralism. International Political Science Review 13 (1):101116.

James R Rogers . 2001. An Informational Rationale for Congruent Bicameralism. Journal of Theoretical Politics 13 (2):123151.

James R Rogers . 2003. The Impact of Bicameralism on Legislative Production. Legislative Studies Quarterly 28 (4):509528.

James R Rogers . 2005. The Impact of Divided Government on Legislative Production. Public Choice 123 (1/2):217233.

Michele Santoni Francesco Zucchini . 2004. Does Policy Stability Increase the Constitutional Court's Independence? The Case of Italy During the First Republic (1956–1992). Public Choice 120 (3/4):439461.

Kenneth A. Shepsle Barry R. Weingast . 1984. Uncovered Sets and Sophisticated Voting Outcomes with Implications for Agenda Institutions. American Journal of Political Science 28 (1):4974.

Bernard Steunenberg , Christian Koboldt Dieter Schmidtchen . 1996. Policymaking, Comitology, and the Balance of Power in the European Union. International Review of Law and Economics 16 (3):329344.

George Tsebelis . 2008. Thinking about the Recent Past and the Future of the EU. Journal of Common Market Studies 46 (2):265292.

George Tsebelis Xenophon Yataganas . 2002. Veto Players and Decision-Making in the EU after Nice: Policy Stability and Bureaucratic/Judicial Discretion. Journal of Common Market Studies 40 (2):283307.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary Materials

Junge Supplementary Material
Appendix

 PDF (90 KB)
90 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Junge Supplementary Material
Supplementary Material

 Unknown (147 KB)
147 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 15
Total number of PDF views: 182 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 587 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 26th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.