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Author: Libby Maman

For decades, independent regulatory agencies were considered undemocratic because of their independence from political control. However, regulatory agencies are increasingly developing practices and organisational designs that reflect the sharing of power with external actors, thereby enhancing their democratic qualities. While scholars have studied these qualities, namely transparency, participation, representation and accountability, a comprehensive measure by which these qualities can be measured and compared has not yet been developed. This article fills that gap by developing indicators to measure mandatory and voluntary democratic qualities following a qualitative analysis of six regulatory agencies. It contributes to the study of regulation and public administration more broadly by advancing a research agenda that illuminates the role of bureaucracies in promoting pluralistic or majoritarian democratic values.

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