The democratic qualities of regulatory agencies

Author: Libby Maman1
View author details View Less
  • 1 Hebrew University of Jerusalem, , Israel
Full Access
Get eTOC alerts
Rights and permissions Cite this article

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.

Abstract

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.

Public administration organisations have an immense impact on our lives. More than 90 percent of American law is created through administrative rules, and similar estimates exist with respect to other countries (Potter, 2019). However, the extensive discretionary power which unelected bureaucrats have, challenges the democratic idea, and especially the representative notion of democracy which calls for maintaining power in the hands of the elected (Vibert, 2007; Bertelli and Busuioc, 2021). This tension between bureaucracy and representative democracy has been recognised by scholars of principal–agent theory, who see it as a delegation problem and suggest designing agencies with mechanisms of political control (Wood and Waterman, 1991; Gallo and Lewis, 2012). Yet, in the case of independent public agencies, such as regulatory agencies, this solution is structurally impossible as these bodies are ex-ante delegated with political independence (Gilardi, 2009). The global proliferation of these agencies has led to what is considered as the rise of ‘the regulatory state’, that shifted modern states to encompass even more autonomous and unelected power than ever (Levi-Faur, 2011; Verhoest, 2018). Many have criticised the independence of these bodies and claimed that they are democratically deficient (Majone, 1999; Lodge, 2004; DeCanio, 2015). Others disagree and assert that the fact that these bodies were given mandate by elected actors grants their independence democratic legitimacy (Van Veen, 2014).

This article wishes to move the literature forward beyond the discussion on whether the independence of these bodies undermines democracy and instead ask, how independent bodies can exhibit democratic values through democratic qualities, organisational practices and mechanisms that confer power to external actors. Moreover, it asks how we can measure these democratic qualities and ultimately realise on an empirical basis, the extent to which regulatory agencies reflect different notions of democracy. To answer this, it reviews previous measures and performs a qualitative study of six regulatory agencies to develop a better informed and a more exhaustive list of indicators which can be used to systematically assess mandatory and voluntary democratic practices.

So far, regulation scholars have focused mostly on accountability (for example, Scott, 2000; Maggetti, 2010; Koop, 2011; Brandsma and Schillemans, 2013). Accordingly, various measures have been developed to assess the extent of accountability in regulatory agencies (for example, Edwards and Waverman, 2006; Hanretty and Koop, 2012; Jordana et al, 2018). However, focusing only on accountability to assess the democratic quality of regulatory agencies is largely insufficient (Scott, 2015). The most basic and common definition of accountability, which holds that it occurs when agencies report to political actors and justify their actions, refers only to the representative notion of democracy, ignoring pluralistic theories of democracy that call for sharing power with citizens and stakeholders. Nonetheless, regulation scholars have identified qualities that reflect non-representative democratic expectations of the administration, including transparency, participation and representation. Through these qualities, regulators democratise their power and give external actors access to regulatory decision-making processes (Durose et al, 2015). Yet, despite the growing number of studies that focus on these qualities, up to now no systematic tool has been developed to measure and compare them in the context of regulatory agencies.

This gap makes it impossible to collect data and compare the extent to which regulatory agencies develop representative versus pluralistic democratic qualities. This article contributes to filling this gap by developing indicators of mandatory and de-facto levels of accountability, transparency, participation and representation, which are identified as the central democratic qualities of regulatory agencies. Such indicators can enable the systematic collection of data on various democratic qualities altogether, to enable a comparison of them to be made within and between agencies. Such indicators can also enable us to assess the degree to which regulatory governance is shifting to a more pluralistic form, opening up more and becoming more responsive (Koop and Lodge, 2020). While other studies have attempted to make the same connection, they either confine the examination in light of representative democracy only (such as the analysis in the book by Anthony Bertelli (2021)), or do not aim at developing a comprehensive quantitative operationalisation (such as Papadopoulos and Warrin (2007)).

This article is organised in four sections. The first section discusses the democratic challenge of regulatory agencies, the existing literature on transparency, accountability, participation and representation, and develops conceptually distinct definitions for these four qualities. The second section describes the methodological process of developing the indicators. The third section presents the developed indicators along with discussion on the qualitative study and how it informed the new indicators. Finally, the fourth section summarises how the proposed indicators can contribute to the field of regulation and public administration.

Theoretical framework

The democratic challenge of regulatory agencies

Since the 1980s, independent regulatory agencies have proliferated and become a best practice of governance in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world (Jordana et al, 2018; Verhoest, 2018). Independent regulatory agencies have been seen by many as a promising form of governance in capitalist economies, especially as their independence ensures protection against political bias and improves performance and efficiency (Levi-Faur, 2011). However, the question of the democratic legitimacy of regulatory agencies and their ‘democratic deficit’ has remained open (Gilardi, 2009).

On the one hand, many scholars suggest that independent and expert-based agencies are deficient from a democratic perspective (Balla and Gormley, 2017). This sense of danger to democracy stems from a representative democracy view that opposes the idea that non-majoritarian institutions could have such a significant impact on policy (Majone, 1999; Vibert, 2007). Accordingly, the independent regulatory agency is perceived as embodying the undemocratic nature of the autonomous state and an expression of technocratic rule (DeCanio, 2015). On the other hand, some scholars claim that regulatory agencies do not suffer from a democratic deficit since their independence was mandated by majoritarian institutions (Van Veen, 2014).

This article aims to move beyond the question of the democratic legitimacy of delegation and focus instead on the practices and mechanisms that enhance the democratic quality of regulatory agencies. To identify how democratic regulatory agencies are and to compare them, it is proposed to develop a systematic measure of their democratic qualities. Democratic qualities are understood as organisational practices and mechanisms that enable the inclusion and confer power to external actors in the regulatory rulemaking and decision-making process. This definition focuses on procedures and organisational aspects that govern the work of regulatory agencies and therefore captures throughput democratic qualities (Schmidt and Wood, 2019). Measuring democratic qualities is necessary to assess the extent to which regulatory agencies contribute to democratic values.

The democratic qualities of regulatory agencies

Measure development should begin with the formulation of a systematised concept, that is, an operational definition of the concept to be measured (Adcock and Collier, 2001). However, agreeing on what constitutes the democratic qualities of regulatory agencies is not an easy task, as the very concept of democracy is contested. To address this challenge, this article adopts an inclusive approach that takes into account various views on what constitutes democratic governance and what is expected from the administration. Specifically, both the representative theory of democracy and the participatory theory of democracy are considered, following Durose et al (2015), who developed a normative framework for democracy that raises expectations from arm’s length governance bodies and offered the adoption of a polycentric perspective in addition to a traditional majoritarian approach. Table 1 summarises the expected democratic qualities of administrative bodies according to the different democratic perspectives.

Table 1:

Democratic perspective and democratic qualities

Democratic perspectiveMajoritarianPolycentric
Democratic theoryRepresentativeParticipatory, direct, deliberative
Power diffusionConcentrated:

power should remain within the elected, even after delegation.
Semi-diffused:

Power should be diffused with external actors (Interest Groups or the public).
Role of the administrationA tool to execute policy:

its main aim is to ensure effective governance under political control.
To be a separate channel for citizen participation and scrutiny.
Democratic qualitiesPolitical controlParticipation
Political accountabilityRepresentation
Transparency

Representative democracy, or a majoritarian perspective, views public administration bodies as democratic by virtue of delegation and control (Bertelli, 2021). These bodies are seen as democratic in the extent to which they are controlled by democratically elected politicians, or accountable to them (Hupe and Edwards, 2012). Principal–agent theory has been concerned with the difficulty of controlling the administration and suggests, as a solution, designing agencies in a way that ensures political control (Wood and Waterman, 1991; Gallo and Lewis, 2012). Yet, in the case of independent public agencies, such as regulatory agencies, this solution is structurally impossible as these bodies are ex-ante delegated with political independence (Gilardi, 2009). Hence, accountability has been seen as the central remedy for this democratic deficit (Majone, 1999).

On the other hand, a pluralistic approach, which builds on direct, participatory and deliberative democracy, has different expectations from public administration bodies (Durose et al, 2015). This approach dictates the administration to enable a broader array of actors, and perhaps the wider public, to scrutinise, participate and influence the governmental work (Papadopoulos and Warin, 2007). In practice, a pluralistic approach calls for mechanisms of transparency, participation and representation which reflect power-sharing (in different levels) from agencies to external actors.

These various qualities have been discussed in the public administration literature. Transparency, participation and accountability are the primary components of open government which many public administration scholars have addressed (for example, Meijer et al, 2012; Grimmlekihuijsen and Feeney, 2017). They have specifically been conceptualised as procedures that enhance throughput legitimacy of public administration organisations (Schmidt and Wood, 2019; Steffek, 2019). Representation has been studied mostly in the context of representative bureaucracy theory, with scholars aiming to explore the extent to which passive representation leads to active representation (for example, Miller and McTavish, 2014; Gilad and Dahan, 2021).

These qualities have been also studied in the specific context of regulatory agencies literature. These organisations have unique characteristics and tasks and are also designed in a significantly different way to traditional public administration. In the context of regulatory agencies political control is less relevant due to their independence by design (Gilardi, 2009). Accordingly, the literature has mainly focused on accountability as the most important democratic quality of regulatory agencies (for example, Scott, 2000; Koop, 2011; Brandsma and Schillemans, 2013; Overman et al, 2020). Accountability has been defined as occurring when an actor, in a position of responsibility in relation to the interests of another actor, is required to give an account of the conduct of his duties, while the second actor can either reward or sanction the former (Scott, 2000; Maggetti, 2010). Another prominent definition is that of Bovens (2007), by which accountability is defined as a relationship between an actor and a forum, in which the actor is obliged to explain and justify his or her conduct, the forum can pose questions and pass judgement, and the actor may face consequences.

While the literature has mostly focused on accountability, other democracy enhancing qualities have been practised by regulatory agencies, either due to a formal requirement or voluntarily. Specifically, scholars identify that transparency, representation (or inclusiveness) and participation have been supplementing traditional modes of public accountability (Scott, 2015). These qualities have been seen as opening rulemaking and decision-making to external, non-state actors, such as interest groups (IGs), and the wider public, and hence democratising power by opening new channels of access and enabling the participation of marginalised actors (Thatcher and Stone Sweet, 2002; Koop and Lodge, 2020).

Transparency enables external actors, citizens, or interest groups, to scrutinise the regulatory decision making. It is ‘associated with prescribed standards of making regulatory activities accessible and assessable’ (Lodge, 2004; 127). Puppis et al (2014) analysed how transparency varies across independent regulatory agencies in different countries and sectors, and how they communicate with different actors: political actors, the regulated industry, and the general public. A recent experimental study on the effect of decision transparency on trust in the regulator was conducted and found that transparency is a trust enhancing tool under certain conditions (Grimmelikhuijsen et al, 2021). In general, transparency is perceived as virtuous for the prevention of arbitrary regulatory rulemaking and regulatory capture, as long as it is directed to the wider public, not merely to the regulatees (Carpenter, 2017).

Participation has also been studied in the context of regulatory agencies and seen as a mechanism that transfers power from the state to the people, providing ‘voice’ and open access to regulatory rulemaking (Papadopoulos and Warin, 2007). It is sometimes discussed in terms of ‘openness in the practice of decision-making’, allowing stakeholders and ordinary citizens to influence the regulatory process, thereby potentially empowering otherwise marginalised actors to participate in government decision-making (Thatcher, 2002; 966). However, scholars acknowledge that participation can sometimes be merely a box-ticking exercise, with no real influence on policy or performance. In such cases, participation can become meaningless or, equally unhelpfully, hijacked by sectoral interests, eroding regulatory legitimacy (Braun and Busuioc, 2020).

Woods (2009) described various types of mechanisms that states currently employ to encourage public participation in regulatory rulemaking and tested their effect on perceived influence of external actors. Later, Neshkova (2014) measured the degree of public input in the budget process of two regulatory agencies to analyse the extent to which various participatory mechanisms enable external actors to influence the decision-making. DeMenno (2019) measured participation in agency institutional design in a retrospective review of regulations in the United States. Most recently, Beyers and Arras (2020) ask to what extent EU agency consultations are dominated by regulated industries or by a more diverse set of stakeholders, and how varying participation patterns can be explained. Their findings reveal that a large majority of the submissions agencies receive via public consultations come from regulated industries.

Finally, representation has received the least attention in the regulation scholarship. A recent article performs an assessment of diversity regarding gender, nationality, educational qualifications and professional background among individuals serving on management boards and scientific committees of European Union agencies, many of them being regulatory bodies (Pérez-Durán and Bravo-Laguna, 2019). Other work focused on representation of agency boards, advisory or expert forums, and stakeholder groups members, examining whether they include stakeholders or interest groups (Arras and Braun, 2018; Perez-Duran, 2018).

To develop measures that assess these concepts simultaneously and compare them, it is especially necessary to ensure that there is no conceptual overlap between them. The literature review reveals some overlap between the concepts, and especially between accountability and the transparency and participation, and between participation and representation. The separated definitions offered are:

Transparency: the disclosure of information about the regulator, the regulatory decision-making process, and outcomes to non-state actors.

Accountability: the disclosure of information (and specifically reporting, answering, and justifying) to state actors.

Representation: the extent to which the agency includes state and non-state actors in its decision-making bodies.

Participation: consultation and deliberative procedures that enable non-state actors to participate in the regulatory decision-making process.

These definitions highlight how the qualities are different in the type of action, the type of actor they are directed to, and the level of power diffusion (Figure 1). Types of action vary from disclosure of information, consultation and inclusion. Types of actors vary from: (1) interest groups; (2) regulated actors; (3) state actors; and/or (4) citizens.1These four democratic qualities also differ in the degree to which they involve actors outside the agency and the degree of power diffusion, ranging from ‘informing’, ‘consulting’, to ‘involving’ (Nabatchi, 2012; Neshkova, 2014).

Figure 1: A figure positioning transparency, accountability, participation and representation on a scale of power diffusion, type of actors and type of action.
Figure 1:

Dimension of democratic qualities of regulatory agencies

Citation: Policy & Politics 2022; 10.1332/030557321X16490875448288

The definition for accountability offered here focuses only on state actors. This definition is somewhat narrower from what has been proposed in the previous literature, seeing it as a relationship between an actor and a forum, in which the actor is obliged to explain and justify his or her conduct, the forum can pose questions and pass judgement, and the actor may face consequences (Bovens, 2007). Narrowing down accountability to reporting and justifying to state actors only, is necessary to enable the four democratic qualities to be measured separately, and is also compatible with other scholars who see it as occurring when an actor gives account of the conduct of their duties, while the second actor can either reward or sanction the former (Scott, 2000). It also resembles Busuioc’s view of accountability as synonymous with ex-post control (Maggetti, 2010). The most prominent view of accountability over-stretches the concept to include within it transparency and participation (Mulgan, 2000). Hence, reversing this trend and using a narrower definition of accountability allows us to examine different qualities separately, and to assess the extent to which agencies are transparent, accountable, representative and/or participative.

Methodology

Systematising definitions for the concepts to be measured is the first necessary step to develop validated measures. The next steps should be the developing of indicators for scoring the cases, preferably based on some empirical testing (Adcock and Collier, 2001). Using qualitative methods in the process of developing a quantitative instrument allows for the development of a better-contextualised measurement tool and ensures that the measures include all relevant and important indicators (Creswell and Creswell, 2017). Hence, the methodology used in this article to develop measures of transparency, participation, accountability and representation in the context of regulatory agencies follows several steps (Figure 2).

Figure 2: A figure with the three methodological steps and their description.
Figure 2:

Methodological approach

Citation: Policy & Politics 2022; 10.1332/030557321X16490875448288

Revising previous measures

The first step involved the construction of an initial list of indicators based on previous measures and literature (DeVellis, 2016). To do so, existing measures of transparency, participation, accountability and representation in the context of regulatory agencies were assessed (Table 2).

Table 2:

Previous measures of regulatory agencies

AuthorsConceptIndicators
Gilardi, 2002;

Edwards and Waverman, 2006

Hanretty and Koop, 2009
Accountability1. Agency’s reporting obligation toward government

2. Agency’s reporting obligation toward parliament

3. Government’s ability to start an inquiry.

4. Parliament’s ability to start an inquiry
Koop, 2011AccountabilityThe obligation of the agency to:

1. provide the minister with information on request.

2. submit to the minister an annual plan.

3. submit to the minister an annual budget.

4. submit to the minister an annual activity report.

5. submit to the minister an annual financial report.

6. periodically evaluate the agency’s functioning.

The possibility for the minister to:

7. disapprove the agency’s annual plan.

8. disapprove the agency’s annual budget.

9. disapprove the agency’s annual financial report.

10. take corrective measures vis-à-vis the agency.

11. dismiss the agency’s executive head.

12. dismiss the agency’s board members.
Maggetti, Ingold and Varone, 2013Accountability1. Information disclosure

2. Strength of the ties of the dyad
Jordana et al, 2018Accountability1. Annual reports are online

2. Civil society accountability

– Advisory council

– Consumers’ office

– Open consultations

– Other

– Public hearings

3. Minutes are online

4. Resolutions are online

5. Accountable to the executive

6. Accountable to the ministry

7. Accountable to the legislative
Bertelli, 2008Openness and accountability1. Public meetings

2. Public minutes

3. Members’ interest registry
DeMenno, 2019Participation1. Exchanging information

2. Ensuring representative and responsive reviews
Arras and Braun, 2018Participation1. Presence or absence on the website of:

  a. Public consultations.

  b. Stakeholder bodies.

  c. Stakeholder representation in the management board

2. Arrangements for stakeholder involvement included in legal requirements
Perez-Duran, 2018Representation4. Interest group representation in agency management boards

Numerous quantitative measures have been proposed for measuring the accountability of regulatory agencies. Initially, measures of accountability were presented in the literature on regulatory agency independence, referred to as ‘obligations to the legislature’ or similar names (Edwards and Waverman, 2006; Hanretty and Koop, 2012). Later, other measures of accountability have been proposed that build on different definitions of accountability or attempt to capture different aspects of the concept. For example, some of the measures focus on the information that the actor provides to the forum (Jordana et al, 2018) while others focus on the discussion between actors and the forum (Koop, 2011). A more recent measure has been developed to measure felt accountability (Overman et al, 2020).

Accountability has gradually been ‘overstretched’ to include transparency, representation and participation, conceptualised as ‘downward accountability’ (Mulgan, 2000), which is reflected in the fact that the most comprehensive quantitative measure of regulatory agency organisational mechanisms included some transparency and participation indicators to measure accountability. For example, Jordana et al (2018) included in their measure of accountability the publication of minutes and resolutions, and practices of participation such as open consultations. Similarly, Bertelli (2008) has measured accountability by the publication of meetings and their minutes and publication of members’ interest registry.

The problem, however, does not only lie in the fact that accountability has been extended and that it often overlaps with transparency, participation and representation, but also that indicators to measure these other qualities are sparse and only partially grasp how transparency and participation is executed nowadays by regulatory agencies. Agencies publish many types of information, much more than merely board resolutions and minutes, including the rules and standards to be followed, the activities of the regulatory agency, the decision-making process and justifications, feedback processes and information on the regulating actors (Lodge, 2004). In this sense, existing measures are not sensitive enough to grasp the multiple and distinct ways that agencies can practice transparency.

Another challenge with previous measures is that they have been developed with no justification, but rather arbitrarily chosen. In addition, they are not consistent, neither being clear about whether their indicators are useful for formal and legal practices, nor also for de facto practices of these qualities. Some focus on formal qualities, while others mix up and do both. This results in the existing measures not providing a way of knowing about the gap between what agencies are obliged to do and what they do voluntarily in terms of democracy-promoting mechanisms – but it is this gap that says the most about the extent to which a particular agency takes its democratic role seriously (Koop, 2014).

Hence, to develop an empirically informed measure of the democratic qualities of regulatory agencies, and to include indicators that grasp the rich ways in which regulatory agencies reflect transparency, participation, accountability and representation, a qualitative study has been performed.

Empirical study

In the second phase, six regulatory agencies were studied and analysed. This included the Mexican competition agency (COFECE), the UK food safety agency (Food Standards Agency), the UK care quality commission (CQO), the Israeli Competition Authority, the Israeli Public Utility Authority for Electricity, and the Israeli Gas Authority. To ensure that the proposed indicators could be later applied to measure agencies in different sectors and countries, and therefore to allow for country and sector comparisons, a ‘diverse’ case selection method was used (Gerring, 2017). Accordingly, the agencies analysed come from three different countries with different structures, and four different sectors. However, the agencies are from democratic countries and OECD countries, which might limit the possibility to generalise and use the developed indicators to measure agencies in non-democratic countries and in developing countries.

In this stage, various written sources were considered, including agency websites, legislation (primary and secondary), reports and publications. In parallel, 33 semi-structured interviews took place between March 2019 and April 2020, mostly face-to-face, but in some cases by a video call. To ensure a diversity of approaches, motivations and interests, interviewees included senior staff from various departments within the agency, as well as external agency stakeholders, including political, business and civic groups, using an ‘agency-sector network’ approach (inspired by da Cruz et al, 2016). Agency websites were searched for department heads, specifically the communications, legal and economic departments, and the largest department that creates new regulations. Within external stakeholders, senior staff in business organisations, who are either regulated by the agency or were mentioned on the agency’s website or in interviews as stakeholders involved were contacted. In terms of political stakeholders, members of parliament who served on commissions responsible for the relevant sectors were reached out to. Finally, civil organisations who were mentioned in interviews with agency officials and in media articles were also contacted to request an interview.

The interview questions were different between agency and stakeholder respondents. The agency staff respondents were first asked to describe in general terms the rulemaking and decision-making process in their agency. They were then asked to detail all the practices that the agency holds for ensuring transparency, participation, accountability and representation, indicating whether the practices were voluntary or mandatory. In the case of voluntary practices, they were asked to explain the rationale for using these mechanisms. Finally, the initial list of indicators (based on previous measures) was presented, and they were asked to provide information on the extent to which the agency complies with them.

Agency network respondents were first asked to describe how they perceive the regulatory agency in question and how they participate in its decision-making. They were also asked about the proposed indicators to corroborate the information from the agencies and asked about mechanisms they would like the agency to develop. Although some discrepancies were expected between agency respondents and stakeholders, there were no discrepancies in the description of agency practices. Differences were noted in the description of the relationship, with some agency staff describing a more positive and trusting working relationship, while some stakeholders described a more strained and distrustful relationship.

After this, the initial indicators list was revised, and the final list of indicators and the dimension of analysis was constructed. To further validate the suggested indicators, they were presented to regulation scholars in several academic conferences, and regulation experts and practitioners were individually consulted, and who provided feedback on the indicators and their applicability. These valuable comments informed the final revision of the indicator list.

Undoubtedly, it is a challenge to construct measures that are applicable to regulatory agencies which differ in various aspects. They operate in different sectors and countries and are assigned different organisational tasks. The mechanisms of governance are also structured differently, sometimes with a managing board, other times with advisory boards, or with none. To address these differences and develop indicators that can be used to measure all types of regulatory agencies, it is suggested that a differentiated scoring system which allows for variations without affecting the overall score is used. The supporting materials2 include an illustration of using the developed indicators, executing a differentiated scoring system, and only considering applicable indicators when calculating the average score per quality.

The suggested indicators and discussion

The following section presents the indicators developed to measure transparency, participation, accountability and representation in the context of regulatory agencies (Table 3). It also reflects on the difference from the previous measures and discusses how the empirical study informed the creation of new indicators.

Table 3:

Suggested indicators

TRANSPARENCYACCOUNTABILITY
The rules and standards to be followed1.The publication of new regulationsEx-post report23.The submission of activity report to legislative
The activities of the regulator2.The publication of enforcement decisions24.The submission of financial report to legislative
3.The publication of annual activity report25.The submission of activity report to executive
4.The publication of annual financial report26.The submission of financial report to executive
5.The publication of annual FOI reportEx-ante report27.The submission of annual plan to legislative
The decision-making process and justifications6.The publication of methodological guidelines28.The submission of budget plan to legislative
7.The publication of strategic plans29.The submission of annual plan to executive
8.The publication of justifications for new regulations30.The submission of budget plan to executive
9.The publication of impact assessments on new regulationsAd hoc report31.Ad-hoc information – on request to legislative (hearings)
10.The publication of justifications for decisions32.Ad-hoc information – on request to executive
11.The publication of board minutes (if applicable)33.Ad-hoc information – proactive – to legislative
12.The publication of recorded board meetings (if applicable)34.Ad-hoc information – proactive – to executive
13.The publication of board resolutions (if applicable)
14.The publication of advisory board decisions (if applicable)
15.The publication of advisory board minutes (if applicable)
Feedback processes16.The publication of proposed regulations before their adoption
17.The publication of comments received on proposed regulations before their adoption
18.The publication of the publication of details/report of deliberative processes
Information on the regulating actors19.The publication of organizational structure
20.The publication of personnel data
21.The publication of members’ interest’s registry
22.The existence of FOI officer
PARTICIPATIONREPRESENTATION
Consultations on proposed regulations35.Holding hearings – inviting regulateesManaging board representation47.Representation - of political actors in the management board
36.Holding hearings – inviting IGs48.Representation - of regulatees in the management board
37.Holding hearings – inviting the public49.Representation - of IGs in the management board
Deliberative procedures38.Holding round tables or focus groups – inviting regulatees50.Representation - of citizens in the management board
39.Holding round tables or focus groups – inviting IGsAdvisory board representation51.Representation - of political actors in the advisory board
40.Holding round tables or focus groups – inviting the public52.Representation - of regulatees in the advisory board
User surveys41.Carrying out surveys – distributing to regulatees53.Representation - of IGs in the advisory board
42.Carrying out surveys – distributing to IGs54.Representation - of citizens in the advisory board
43.Carrying out surveys – distributing to the publicStakeholder group representation55.Representation - of political actors in the stakeholder group
Open Board meetings44.Management board meetings open to the regulatees56.Representation - of regulatees in the stakeholder group
45.Management board meetings open to IGs57.Representation - of IGs in the stakeholder group
46.Management board meetings open to the public58.Representation - of citizens in the stakeholder group

Indicators of transparency

Transparency indicators reflect different types of information that a regulatory agency can publish. While the initial list of indicators, derived from the previous measures, only included the publication of board minutes, resolutions, new regulations, annual reports and board member’s interest registry, the qualitative study revealed that agencies publish a much wider list of information. Each type of information is a different indicator of transparency that an agency does or does not publish. The measure of transparency offered includes significantly more indicators than other qualities, reflecting the variety of information that agencies can publish. However, when grouped to clusters by information type, their scope is similar to the other qualities. A total of 22 different indicators were identified and they can be distributed across five clusters (building on Lodge, 2004):

  1. the rules and standards to be followed

  2. the activities of the regulatory agency

  3. the decision-making process and justifications

  4. feedback processes

  5. information on the regulating actors

The first cluster of indicators includes the rules and standards to be followed. This cluster includes an indicator that refers to the publication of new rules that have already been adopted (1). This is the most basic type of transparency, which was also included in previous measures. It is considered the most basic level of an agency’s transparency, allowing regulators and the public to know the rules they are expected to follow.

The second cluster includes indicators that reflect the actual activities of the regulatory agency after the ‘rules of the game’ have been established. This cluster includes the publication of enforcement decisions (2), which refer to decisions taken by the agency against certain regulated actors, such as the withdrawal of a licence, the imposition of fees, and so on. This cluster also includes the publication of annual activity reports (3), financial reports (4), and Freedom of Information (FOI) reports (5). From this cluster, only activity reports have been included in previous measures. The other three indicators were identified from the empirical study and particularly by analysing agencies’ websites.

The third cluster includes indicators of the decision-making process in setting rules and their justifications. This cluster addresses the full range of activities that the agency undertakes prior to rulemaking, including nine different indicators: first, methodological guidelines (6), which may include technical standards followed by the agency, internal rules of procedure for decision-making, benchmarks or guidelines. Second, it includes the agency’s strategic plans (7). It also includes justifications for regulations (8) and for enforcement decisions (9), and the publication of regulatory impact assessments (RIA) (10). None of these have been included in previous measures.

This cluster also includes five conditional indicators. If the agency has a managing board, three indicators are assessed: publication of board minutes (11), publication of video recordings of board meetings (12), and publication of board decisions (13). If the agency has an advisory board, two additional indicators are used: advisory board resolutions (14) and minutes (15). These are indicators that have been included in previous measures (Jordana et al, 2018), excluding the publication of video recordings of board meetings, which was identified in the UK food safety agency.

The fourth cluster, transparency of feedback processes, includes proposed regulations before their adoption (16), comments received on proposed regulations before their adoption (17), and reports on deliberative processes (18). This cluster depends on the existence of participatory practices, which are measured separately. Arras and Braun (2018) included an indicator for public consultations in their assessment of participation. However, the three indicators offered here are transparency derivatives that are assessed separately from the practice of public consultations. In addition, this article separately assesses whether there is a legal obligation to publish these indicators, whereas Arras and Braun focused only on website presence.

Finally, the fifth cluster includes information about the regulatory agency itself: organisational structure (19), which is information about the structure of the agency, a detailed list of departments and their hierarchy; the names and contact details of staff (20); and a register of interests, which includes the publication of a detailed conflict of interest for agency staff (21). This could include, for example, a specified list of the agency member’s holdings that could give rise to a conflict of interest. While Bertelli included the publication of members’ interest registry in his study of openness and accountability, the other indicators were added after analysing the agencies’ websites and found present in most of them. The final indicator of the measure is the existence of a FOI officer (22). As this applies generally to all stages of regulatory decision-making, it does not fit any specific cluster.

According to the analysis of the six agencies, there is a variance in the publication of these items. Publishing a members’ interest registry, for example, was the rarest. Other indicators, such as publication of annual reports, new regulation and decisions were found in most agencies. Even though the construction of these indicators was mostly based on the websites of agencies, the interviews have yielded insights. Most agency personnel interviewed mentioned that while the legal framework is quite parsimonious, they voluntary publish more types of information than required. In other words, the interviews revealed that there is a gap between agencies’ formal obligation for transparency and their de-facto transparency levels.

Indicators of accountability

This proposed measure of accountability includes 12 indicators, clustered into three groups: ex-post accountability, ex-ante accountability and ad-hoc accountability. These indicators build much on Koop’s indicators (Koop, 2011) but include only those indicators that fit the concept of accountability as disclosure of the agency actions to state actors. While some of the previous measures look at accountability in a broader view, including the extent to which other actors can hold the agency accountable (Hanretty and Koop, 2012; Koop, 2011) and other view it in a more abstract way, looking into the extent to which the agency is vulnerable (Apaydin and Jordana, 2020), the indicators offered in this article are focused on the actions and practices of the agency itself.

The first four indicators reflect ex-post reporting to political actors, either at the end of the year or the beginning of the following year. The first two are the submission of annual activity report (23) and annual budget report (24) to legislative actors. The third and the fourth are the submission of annual activity report (25) and annual budget report (26) to executive actors (Jordana et al, 2018).

The second cluster includes ex-ante reporting to political actors: the disclosure of strategic plans for the coming year(s), which include objectives, activities and performance plans to legislative actors (27), a disclosure of a budget plan for the following year(s) to legislative actors (28), the disclosure of strategic plans to executive actors (29) and a disclosure of a budget plan to executive actors (30).

While these first set of indicators is derived from previous studies, but narrowed down to avoid overlap, the next indicators are additions, which were developed after the interviews. The qualitative study found that agencies can be accountable to legislative and executive actors by justifying their actions on an ad-hoc basis. Interviews with agency personnel disclosed that meetings with a parent minister is a frequent practice. This is especially true in the case of the semi-autonomous Israeli agencies, which reported ad-hoc meeting with the parent minister. Accordingly, indicators that measure reactive but irregular acts of communication between legislative and executive actors and the regulatory agency (31+32) have been included.

The final two indicators measure proactive ad-hoc information disclosure (33+34) when the agency actively decides to share information with legislative and executive actors. This was added to the measure basing on several agencies that reported such proactive interaction.

Indicators of participation

The proposed measure of participation includes includes 12 indicators, which are grouped into four clusters. The first cluster includes indicators of the regulatory agency soliciting comments on proposed regulations prior to adoption. The indicators include hearings or consultation with the regulatees (35), with IGs (36) and with the public (37). Hearings could be physical events to which the agency invites stakeholders or the public to offer their views, or consultations via written hearings.

The second cluster includes deliberative processes such as roundtables and focus groups, which also could involve regulatees (38), IGs (39) and the wider public (40). These events tend to be deliberative in the sense that they facilitate a conversation about the strategy that the agency should pursue. The inclusion of these indicators was completely due to the findings from the qualitative study, that revealed that the electricity agency in Israel is regularly holding open consultations in the form of roundtables, on the plans of the agency and on specific issues. This practice is completely voluntary.

The third cluster includes a more quantitative type of consultation which agencies sometimes carry out as forms to achieve the participation of external actors in the regulatory work: surveys. These could include ongoing surveys or ad hoc surveys, directed to regulatees (41), IGs (42) or the wider public (43). This was identified in the case of the UK food safety agency.

The final cluster is dependent on the existence of a managing boards, measuring the extent to which their meetings are open to regulatees (44), IGs (45) and the wider public (46). These indicators were offered by previous measures (Jordana et al, 2018) and found to be still relevant, since the agencies analysed often hold such events. Again, the UK food safety agency holds board meetings that are open to the wider public, and in this sense, it is a unique case.

The agencies analysed in this study varied significantly in their level of participation. The UK agencies in the set were identified to have several mandatory obligations for holding participation practices. The Mexican and Israeli agencies, on the other hand, were found to have fewer mandatory obligations, but few voluntary practices were described in the interviews. Another interesting finding was that while both competition agencies included mainly regulatees in the participation procedures, the electricity, food safety and quality care agencies included a broader variety of participants in participation practices.

Indicators of representation

Twelve indicators are proposed to measure representation in regulatory agencies, largely based on previous measures (Perez-Duran, 2018; Arras and Braun, 2018). Specifically, it is proposed to measure the presence of four different groups (political actors, regulatees, IGs and citizens) on three different agency boards: management boards, advisory boards and stakeholder groups (47–58).

As mentioned earlier, regulatory agencies vary widely in their institutional design, with some having a managerial and advisory board and others not. This affects in particular indicators of representation, which include indicators on representation on managerial boards, on advisory boards and stakeholder groups, and which may not be relevant for all. Therefore, it is suggested that scores should be calculated only for those indicators that are relevant. That is, if an agency does not have a managerial board, for example, it should not receive a score of 0 on the indicators that ask if regulatees are represented in this body. Instead, the indicators that pertain to managerial boards should be excluded from the calculation of the final score. The supplementary material illustrates this.

Mandatory and voluntary democratic qualities

Finally, it is suggested that the indicators on two dimensions, mandatory and voluntary, should be measured. To analyse the mandatory dimension, the legal (de-jure) framework of the agency should be analysed to see if the agency is legally obligated to include the indicators. To analyse the voluntary transparency, the agencies should be first measured upon their de-facto dimension, asking: does the agency perform this indicator in practice? For example, to assess transparency in practice, agencies’ websites should be analysed to see which of the indicators are published. To assess representation in practice, the composition of the agencies’ managing board, advisory board and stakeholder groups should be analysed. To assess accountability and participation in practice, agencies could be asked directly whether they perform the various practices. After achieving de jure and de facto scores of the mechanisms, the voluntary level can be determined by subtracting the de jure score from the de facto score, that is, realising the mechanisms that prevail although the agency does not have a legal obligation to include it. An illustration of the way these dimensions can reveal discrepancies between the qualities is included in the supporting materials,3 which include the complete scores of two regulatory agencies in Israel.

Voluntary democratic qualities are of value to the regulation scholarship and to the public administration scholarship since they advance democratic governance beyond legal requirements (Koop, 2014). Again, the regulatory scholarship has studied voluntary accountability, but has not yet explored voluntary transparency, participation and representation. Assessing this gap could reveal important findings. For example, an agency could have a legal obligation in either primary or secondary law to publish enforcement decisions, but the agency does not do so. Conversely, an agency could publish enforcement decisions without being formally obliged to do so. Assessing voluntary democratic mechanisms is important in order to understand the degree of discretion which agencies have, not only in establishing and enforcing regulations, but also on designing mechanisms in which they involve other actors in their work. The result is a framework that does not lead to a determination of ‘more’ or ‘less’ democratic agencies, but rather allows us to capture the particular type of democracy that agencies promote, the actors that are included and the extent of formalism.

Conclusions

This article develops indicators to assess mandatory and voluntary levels of democratic qualities of regulatory agencies, namely transparency, accountability, participation and representation. By capturing the extent to which agencies are characterised by organisational practices and mechanisms that share power to different types of non-state actors vis-à-vis political actors, these indicators make it possible to systematically measure and compare the extent to which regulatory agencies exhibit pluralistic democratic governance or continue to adhere to traditional notions of representative democracy. In this way, the article moves the literature forward from the discussion on whether delegating power to non-majoritarian bodies is a democratic act, to assess the various ways in which independent bodies can nonetheless contribute to democracy.

This distinction between representative democracy and pluralistic democracy resembles Arend Lijphart’s distinction between majoritarian and consensus democracy, which differ in the way power is concentrated (Lijphart, 2007). This is a distinction that contributes to the scholarship of regulation, since it acknowledges that regulatory agencies can be democratic in various ways, sharing power with different actors. Moreover, this distinction is also useful to reveal whether agencies share power mostly with the regulatees. This might suggest a third type of democracy, a corporatist or tripartism, a process or situation where IGs have significant power in government (Ayres and Braithwaite, 1991). Several scholars have discussed the potential of regulatory agencies to lead to regulatory capture, and using these indicators to grasp whether participation and representation is directed only at regulatees might enable this.

The compatibility of regulatory agencies with democracy has not been fully explored in the literature. While scholars have focused mainly on accountability and developed quantitative measures that led to the construction of broad databases, other democratic qualities have not received similar attention. This left a methodological gap, making it impossible to assess the role which regulatory agencies play in advancing democratic norms, and whether they move toward more pluralistic, open modes of governance (Scott, 2015; Koop and Lodge, 2020).

Previous measures, especially the comprehensive and systematic ones, focus mainly on accountability as an umbrella concept that often includes transparency, participation and representation. This article offers definitions that conceptually separate these previously overlapped qualities. This enables separate measures to be built which allows researchers to compare democratic qualities and learn more about how regulators can make tradeoffs between them. In addition, the indicators developed in this article increase the sensitivity of previous measures of transparency, participation and representation, which tend to focus on single or very few elements, which does not capture the full range of activities that regulatory agencies undertake with respect to these qualities. This is done by expanding the number of indicators, which allows us to capture enough variance in the concepts we want to capture.

The content and convergent validity of the indicators is assured through the qualitative study, that analysed various and diverse regulatory agencies. Content validity concerns the extent to which a measurement reflects the full content of the intended systematised concept, and it is achieved when the design and development of an instrument follows a rigorous process such as in this study (Adcock and Collier, 2001). However, further empirical validation of the indicators is still needed. In particular, additional data is necessary to complete the index construction, validate the indicators and develop a more sophisticated weighting system and aggregation method.

In this sense, this article is the first step in a broader research agenda aimed at developing an empirically informed theory of democratic regulatory governance. By using the suggested indicators to collect data on a broad sample of regulatory agencies, researchers can answer various open questions including on the relation between democratic qualities and political independence (do independent agencies compensate for their lost democratic legitimacy by increasing democratic qualities?) the relation between the use of certain qualities in certain regulatory sectors (are agencies which work on social regulation more democratic?) and between themselves (do agencies make trade-offs between qualities?). Collecting a broad-based dataset can also facilitate hypothesis exploration on the drivers and effects of democratic qualities. For example, do regulatory agencies with more democratic qualities enjoy higher levels of trust by the different actors in the regulatory regime?

Broader public administration scholarship can also gain insights from the measurement of democratic qualities, and future work could adapt the indicators to the context of non-independent administrative organisations, such as ministerial departments, and explore the extent to which these bodies reflect democratic qualities, beyond political control. Such analysis is necessary because the role that bureaucracies as a whole play in democracy is changing.

Notes

1

This resembles Frederickson’s classification of the possible ‘public’ which public administration should strive to include (1991).

Funding

This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation under Grants 324/18 and 270/21.

Acknowledgments

This article is based on my doctoral dissertation, which was supervised by David Levi-Faur, to whom I am very grateful for his dedicated guidance and mentorship. Numerous scholars generously provided insights and feedback, including Jacint Jordana, Carry Coglianese, Eva Thomann, Edward Rubin, Jodi Short, Xavier Fernandez-i-Marin, Kutsal Yesilkagit, Mattia Guidi, Anne Rasmussen, Anthony Bertelli, Sharon Gilad and members of the Israeli Policy and Regulatory Governance research group. I thank the ‘Questions of Accountability’ and ‘Rabin Graduate Conference’ committees for selecting this article for the best paper award and encouraging me to publish it. Finally, I wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and the editors for helpful guidance in the reviewing process.

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

References

  • Adcock, R. and Collier, D. (2001) Measurement validity: a shared standard for qualitative and quantitative research, The American Political Science Review, 95(3): 52946. doi: 10.1017/S0003055401003100

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Apaydin, F. and Jordana, J. (2020) Varying power configurations and the accountability of independent regulatory agencies, International Review of Public Policy, 2(2:3): 34257. doi: 10.4000/irpp.1458

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arras, S. and Braun, C. (2018) Stakeholders wanted! Why and how European union agencies involve Non-state stakeholders, Journal of European Public Policy, 25(9): 125775. doi: 10.1080/13501763.2017.1307438

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ayres, I. and Braithwaite, J. (1991) Tripartism: regulatory capture and empowerment, Law & Social Inquiry, 16(3): 43596.

  • Balla, S.J. and Gormley Jr, W.T. (2017) Bureaucracy and Democracy: Accountability and Performance, Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press. 

  • Bertelli, A.M. (2008) Credible Governance? Transparency, political control, the personal vote and British quangos, Political Studies, 56(4): 80729. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9248.2007.00713.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bertelli, A.M. (2021) Democracy Administered: How Public Administration Shapes Representative Government, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bertelli, A.M. and Busuioc, M. (2021) Reputation‐sourced authority and the prospect of unchecked bureaucratic power, Public Administration Review, 81(1): 3848. doi: 10.1111/puar.13281

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Beyers, J. and Arras, S. (2020) Who feeds information to regulators? Stakeholder diversity in European Union regulatory agency consultations, Journal of Public Policy, 40(4): 57398. doi: 10.1017/S0143814X19000126

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bovens, M. (2007) Analysing and assessing accountability: a conceptual framework, European Law Journal, 13(4): 44768. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0386.2007.00378.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brandsma, G.J. and Schillemans, T. (2013) The accountability cube: measuring accountability, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 23(4): 95375. doi: 10.1093/jopart/mus034

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Braun, C. and Busuioc, M. (2020) Stakeholder engagement as a conduit for regulatory legitimacy?, Journal of European Public Policy, 27(11): 1599611. doi: 10.1080/13501763.2020.1817133

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carpenter, D. (2017) FDA transparency in an inescapably political world, The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 45(2): 2932.

  • Creswell, J.W. and Creswell, J.D. (2017) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • da Cruz, N.F., Tavares, A.F., Marques, R.C., Jorge, S. and de Sousa, L. (2016) Measuring local government transparency, Public Management Review, 18(6): 86693. doi: 10.1080/14719037.2015.1051572

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DeCanio, S. (2015) Democracy and the Origins of the American Regulatory State, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • DeMenno, M.B. (2019) Technocracy, democracy, and public policy: an evaluation of public participation in retrospective regulatory review, Regulation & Governance, 13(3): 37283.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DeVellis, R.F. (2016) Scale Development: Theory and Applications, 4th edn, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

  • Dunlop, C.A., Kamkhaji, J., Radaelli, C.M., Taffoni, G. and Wagemann, C. (2020) Does consultation count for corruption? The causal relations in the EU-28, Journal of European Public Policy, 27(11): 171841. doi: 10.1080/13501763.2020.1784984

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Durose, C., Justice, J. and Skelcher, C. (2015) Governing at arm’s length: eroding or enhancing democracy?, Policy & Politics, 43(1): 13753.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Edwards, G. and Waverman, L. (2006) The effects of public ownership and regulatory independence on regulatory outcomes, Journal of Regulatory Economics, 29(1): 2367. doi: 10.1007/s11149-005-5125-x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frederickson, H.G. (1991) Toward a theory of the public for public administration, Administration & Society, 22(4): 395417. doi: 10.1177/009539979102200401

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gallo, N. and Lewis, D.E. (2012) The consequences of presidential patronage for federal agency performance, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 22(2): 21943. doi: 10.1093/jopart/mur010

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gerring, J. (2017 Qualitative methods, Annual Review of Political Science, 20: 1536. doi: 10.1146/annurev-polisci-092415-024158

  • Gilad, S. and Dahan, M. (2021) Representative bureaucracy and impartial policing, Public Administration, 99(1): 13755. doi: 10.1111/padm.12681

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gilardi, F. (2009) Delegation in the Regulatory State: Independent Regulatory Agencies in Western Europe, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. 

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grimmelikhuijsen, S.G. and Feeney, M.K. (2017) Developing and testing an integrative framework for open government adoption in local governments, Public Administration Review, 77(4): 57990. doi: 10.1111/puar.12689

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grimmelikhuijsen, S.G., Herkes, F., Leistikow, I., Verkroost, J., de Vries, F. and Zijlstra, W.G. (2021) Can decision transparency increase citizen trust in regulatory agencies? Evidence from a representative survey experiment, Regulation & Governance, 15(1): 1731.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hanretty, C. and Koop, C. (2012) Measuring the formal independence of regulatory agencies, Journal of European Public Policy, 19(2): 198216. doi: 10.1080/13501763.2011.607357

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hupe, P. and Edwards, A. (2012) The accountability of power: democracy and governance in modern times, European Political Science Review, 4(2): 17794. doi: 10.1017/S1755773911000154

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jordana, J., Fernández-i-Marín, X. and Bianculli, A.C. (2018) Agency proliferation and the globalization of the regulatory state, Regulation & Governance, 12(4): 52440.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Koop, C. (2011) Explaining the accountability of independent agencies: the importance of political salience, Journal of Public Policy, 31(2): 20934. doi: 10.1017/S0143814X11000080

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Koop, C. (2014) Theorizing and explaining voluntary accountability, Public Administration, 92(3): 56581.

  • Koop, C. and Lodge, M. (2020) British economic regulators in an age of politicization: from the responsible to the responsive regulatory state?, Journal of European Public Policy, 27(11): 161235. doi: 10.1080/13501763.2020.1817127

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Levi‐Faur, D. (2011) The regulatory state and regulatory capitalism: an institutional perspective, in J. Jordana and D. Levi-Faur (eds) Handbook on the Politics of Regulation, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp 66272. 

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lijphart, A. (2007) Thinking About Democracy: Power Sharing and Majority Rule in Theory and Practice, Abingdon: Routledge.

  • Lodge, M. (2004) Accountability and transparency in regulation: critiques, doctrines and instruments, in J. Jordana and D. Levi-Faur (eds) The Politics of Regulation: Institutions and Regulatory Reforms for the Age of Governance, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp 12444. 

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maggetti, M. (2010) Legitimacy and accountability of independent regulatory agencies: a critical review, Living Reviews in Democracy, 2: 19.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maggetti, M., Ingold, K. and Varone, F. (2013) Having your cake and eating it, too: can regulatory agencies be both independent and accountable?, Swiss Political Science Review, 19(1): 1-25.

  • Majone, G. (1999) The regulatory state and its legitimacy problems, West European Politics, 22(1): 124. doi: 10.1080/01402389908425284

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Meijer, A.J., Curtin, D. and Hillebrandt, M. (2012) Open government: connecting vision and voice, International Review of Administrative Sciences, 78(1): 1029. doi: 10.1177/0020852311429533

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Miller, K.J. and McTavish, D. (2014) Representative bureaucracy: a typology of normative institutional strategies for the representation of women, Policy & Politics, 42(4): 53146.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mulgan, R. (2000) ‘Accountability’: an ever-expanding concept?, Public Administration, 78(3): 55573. doi: 10.1111/1467-9299.00218

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nabatchi, T. (2012) Putting the ‘public’ back in public values research: designing participation to identify and respond to values, Public Administration Review, 72(5): 699708. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2012.02544.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Neshkova, M.I. (2014) Does agency autonomy foster public participation?, Public Administration Review, 74(1): 6474. doi: 10.1111/puar.12180

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Overman, S., Schillemans, T. and Grimmelikhuijsen, S. (2020) A validated measurement for felt relational accountability in the public sector: gauging the account holder’s legitimacy and expertise, Public Management Review, 23(12): 120.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Papadopoulos, Y. and Warin, P. (2007) Are innovative, participatory and deliberative procedures in Policy-making democratic and effective?, European Journal of Political Research, 46(4): 44572. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6765.2007.00696.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pérez Durán, I. (2018) Interest group representation in the formal design of European union agencies, Regulation & Governance, 12(2): 23862.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pérez-Durán, I. and Bravo-Laguna, C. (2019) Representative bureaucracy in European Union agencies, Journal of European Integration, 41(8): 97192.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Potter, R.A. (2019) Bending the Rules: Procedural Politicking in the Bureaucracy, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

  • Puppis, M., Maggetti, M., Gilardi, F., Biela, J. and Papadopoulos, Y. (2014) The political communication of independent regulatory agencies, Swiss Political Science Review, 20(3): 388412. doi: 10.1111/spsr.12118

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schmidt, V. and Wood, M. (2019) Conceptualizing throughput legitimacy: procedural mechanisms of accountability, transparency, inclusiveness and openness in EU governance, Public Administration, 97(4): 72740. doi: 10.1111/padm.12615

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Scott, C. (2000) Accountability in the regulatory state, Journal of Law and Society, 27(1): 3860. doi: 10.1111/1467-6478.00146

  • Scott, C. (2015) Regulatory capitalism, accountability and democracy, in A.C. Bianculli, X. Fernández-i-Marín and J. Jordana (eds) Accountability and Regulatory Governance, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 189208.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Steffek, J. (2019) The limits of proceduralism: critical remarks on the rise of ‘throughput legitimacy’, Public Administration, 97(4): 78496. doi: 10.1111/padm.12565

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thatcher, M. (2002) Regulation after delegation: independent regulatory agencies in Europe, Journal of European Public Policy, 9(6): 95472. doi: 10.1080/1350176022000046445

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thatcher, M. and Stone Sweet, A. (2002) Theory and practice of delegation to non-majoritarian institutions, West European Politics, 25(1): 122. doi: 10.1080/713601583

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Van Veen, A. (2014) Regulation without Representation? Independent Regulatory Authorities and Representative Claim-Making in the Netherlands, Utrecht: Utrecht University Repository.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Verhoest, K. (2018) Agencification in Europe, in E. Ongaro and S. Van Thiel (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Public Administration and Management in Europe, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 32746.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vibert, F. (2007) The Rise of the Unelected: Democracy and the New Separation of Powers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Wood, B.D. and Waterman, R.W. (1991) The dynamics of political control of the bureaucracy, The American Political Science Review, 85(3): 80128. doi: 10.2307/1963851

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Woods, N.D. (2009) Promoting participation? An examination of rulemaking notification and access procedures, Public Administration Review, 69(3): 51830. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2009.01997.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Adcock, R. and Collier, D. (2001) Measurement validity: a shared standard for qualitative and quantitative research, The American Political Science Review, 95(3): 52946. doi: 10.1017/S0003055401003100

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Apaydin, F. and Jordana, J. (2020) Varying power configurations and the accountability of independent regulatory agencies, International Review of Public Policy, 2(2:3): 34257. doi: 10.4000/irpp.1458

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arras, S. and Braun, C. (2018) Stakeholders wanted! Why and how European union agencies involve Non-state stakeholders, Journal of European Public Policy, 25(9): 125775. doi: 10.1080/13501763.2017.1307438

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ayres, I. and Braithwaite, J. (1991) Tripartism: regulatory capture and empowerment, Law & Social Inquiry, 16(3): 43596.

  • Balla, S.J. and Gormley Jr, W.T. (2017) Bureaucracy and Democracy: Accountability and Performance, Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press. 

  • Bertelli, A.M. (2008) Credible Governance? Transparency, political control, the personal vote and British quangos, Political Studies, 56(4): 80729. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9248.2007.00713.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bertelli, A.M. (2021) Democracy Administered: How Public Administration Shapes Representative Government, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bertelli, A.M. and Busuioc, M. (2021) Reputation‐sourced authority and the prospect of unchecked bureaucratic power, Public Administration Review, 81(1): 3848. doi: 10.1111/puar.13281

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Beyers, J. and Arras, S. (2020) Who feeds information to regulators? Stakeholder diversity in European Union regulatory agency consultations, Journal of Public Policy, 40(4): 57398. doi: 10.1017/S0143814X19000126

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bovens, M. (2007) Analysing and assessing accountability: a conceptual framework, European Law Journal, 13(4): 44768. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0386.2007.00378.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brandsma, G.J. and Schillemans, T. (2013) The accountability cube: measuring accountability, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 23(4): 95375. doi: 10.1093/jopart/mus034

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Braun, C. and Busuioc, M. (2020) Stakeholder engagement as a conduit for regulatory legitimacy?, Journal of European Public Policy, 27(11): 1599611. doi: 10.1080/13501763.2020.1817133

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carpenter, D. (2017) FDA transparency in an inescapably political world, The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 45(2): 2932.

  • Creswell, J.W. and Creswell, J.D. (2017) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • da Cruz, N.F., Tavares, A.F., Marques, R.C., Jorge, S. and de Sousa, L. (2016) Measuring local government transparency, Public Management Review, 18(6): 86693. doi: 10.1080/14719037.2015.1051572

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DeCanio, S. (2015) Democracy and the Origins of the American Regulatory State, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • DeMenno, M.B. (2019) Technocracy, democracy, and public policy: an evaluation of public participation in retrospective regulatory review, Regulation & Governance, 13(3): 37283.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DeVellis, R.F. (2016) Scale Development: Theory and Applications, 4th edn, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

  • Dunlop, C.A., Kamkhaji, J., Radaelli, C.M., Taffoni, G. and Wagemann, C. (2020) Does consultation count for corruption? The causal relations in the EU-28, Journal of European Public Policy, 27(11): 171841. doi: 10.1080/13501763.2020.1784984

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Durose, C., Justice, J. and Skelcher, C. (2015) Governing at arm’s length: eroding or enhancing democracy?, Policy & Politics, 43(1): 13753.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Edwards, G. and Waverman, L. (2006) The effects of public ownership and regulatory independence on regulatory outcomes, Journal of Regulatory Economics, 29(1): 2367. doi: 10.1007/s11149-005-5125-x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frederickson, H.G. (1991) Toward a theory of the public for public administration, Administration & Society, 22(4): 395417. doi: 10.1177/009539979102200401

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gallo, N. and Lewis, D.E. (2012) The consequences of presidential patronage for federal agency performance, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 22(2): 21943. doi: 10.1093/jopart/mur010

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gerring, J. (2017 Qualitative methods, Annual Review of Political Science, 20: 1536. doi: 10.1146/annurev-polisci-092415-024158

  • Gilad, S. and Dahan, M. (2021) Representative bureaucracy and impartial policing, Public Administration, 99(1): 13755. doi: 10.1111/padm.12681

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gilardi, F. (2009) Delegation in the Regulatory State: Independent Regulatory Agencies in Western Europe, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. 

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grimmelikhuijsen, S.G. and Feeney, M.K. (2017) Developing and testing an integrative framework for open government adoption in local governments, Public Administration Review, 77(4): 57990. doi: 10.1111/puar.12689

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grimmelikhuijsen, S.G., Herkes, F., Leistikow, I., Verkroost, J., de Vries, F. and Zijlstra, W.G. (2021) Can decision transparency increase citizen trust in regulatory agencies? Evidence from a representative survey experiment, Regulation & Governance, 15(1): 1731.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hanretty, C. and Koop, C. (2012) Measuring the formal independence of regulatory agencies, Journal of European Public Policy, 19(2): 198216. doi: 10.1080/13501763.2011.607357

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hupe, P. and Edwards, A. (2012) The accountability of power: democracy and governance in modern times, European Political Science Review, 4(2): 17794. doi: 10.1017/S1755773911000154

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jordana, J., Fernández-i-Marín, X. and Bianculli, A.C. (2018) Agency proliferation and the globalization of the regulatory state, Regulation & Governance, 12(4): 52440.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Koop, C. (2011) Explaining the accountability of independent agencies: the importance of political salience, Journal of Public Policy, 31(2): 20934. doi: 10.1017/S0143814X11000080

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Koop, C. (2014) Theorizing and explaining voluntary accountability, Public Administration, 92(3): 56581.

  • Koop, C. and Lodge, M. (2020) British economic regulators in an age of politicization: from the responsible to the responsive regulatory state?, Journal of European Public Policy, 27(11): 161235. doi: 10.1080/13501763.2020.1817127

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Levi‐Faur, D. (2011) The regulatory state and regulatory capitalism: an institutional perspective, in J. Jordana and D. Levi-Faur (eds) Handbook on the Politics of Regulation, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp 66272. 

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lijphart, A. (2007) Thinking About Democracy: Power Sharing and Majority Rule in Theory and Practice, Abingdon: Routledge.

  • Lodge, M. (2004) Accountability and transparency in regulation: critiques, doctrines and instruments, in J. Jordana and D. Levi-Faur (eds) The Politics of Regulation: Institutions and Regulatory Reforms for the Age of Governance, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp 12444. 

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maggetti, M. (2010) Legitimacy and accountability of independent regulatory agencies: a critical review, Living Reviews in Democracy, 2: 19.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maggetti, M., Ingold, K. and Varone, F. (2013) Having your cake and eating it, too: can regulatory agencies be both independent and accountable?, Swiss Political Science Review, 19(1): 1-25.

  • Majone, G. (1999) The regulatory state and its legitimacy problems, West European Politics, 22(1): 124. doi: 10.1080/01402389908425284

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Meijer, A.J., Curtin, D. and Hillebrandt, M. (2012) Open government: connecting vision and voice, International Review of Administrative Sciences, 78(1): 1029. doi: 10.1177/0020852311429533

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Miller, K.J. and McTavish, D. (2014) Representative bureaucracy: a typology of normative institutional strategies for the representation of women, Policy & Politics, 42(4): 53146.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mulgan, R. (2000) ‘Accountability’: an ever-expanding concept?, Public Administration, 78(3): 55573. doi: 10.1111/1467-9299.00218

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nabatchi, T. (2012) Putting the ‘public’ back in public values research: designing participation to identify and respond to values, Public Administration Review, 72(5): 699708. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2012.02544.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Neshkova, M.I. (2014) Does agency autonomy foster public participation?, Public Administration Review, 74(1): 6474. doi: 10.1111/puar.12180

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Overman, S., Schillemans, T. and Grimmelikhuijsen, S. (2020) A validated measurement for felt relational accountability in the public sector: gauging the account holder’s legitimacy and expertise, Public Management Review, 23(12): 120.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Papadopoulos, Y. and Warin, P. (2007) Are innovative, participatory and deliberative procedures in Policy-making democratic and effective?, European Journal of Political Research, 46(4): 44572. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6765.2007.00696.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pérez Durán, I. (2018) Interest group representation in the formal design of European union agencies, Regulation & Governance, 12(2): 23862.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pérez-Durán, I. and Bravo-Laguna, C. (2019) Representative bureaucracy in European Union agencies, Journal of European Integration, 41(8): 97192.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Potter, R.A. (2019) Bending the Rules: Procedural Politicking in the Bureaucracy, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

  • Puppis, M., Maggetti, M., Gilardi, F., Biela, J. and Papadopoulos, Y. (2014) The political communication of independent regulatory agencies, Swiss Political Science Review, 20(3): 388412. doi: 10.1111/spsr.12118

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schmidt, V. and Wood, M. (2019) Conceptualizing throughput legitimacy: procedural mechanisms of accountability, transparency, inclusiveness and openness in EU governance, Public Administration, 97(4): 72740. doi: 10.1111/padm.12615

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Scott, C. (2000) Accountability in the regulatory state, Journal of Law and Society, 27(1): 3860. doi: 10.1111/1467-6478.00146

  • Scott, C. (2015) Regulatory capitalism, accountability and democracy, in A.C. Bianculli, X. Fernández-i-Marín and J. Jordana (eds) Accountability and Regulatory Governance, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 189208.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Steffek, J. (2019) The limits of proceduralism: critical remarks on the rise of ‘throughput legitimacy’, Public Administration, 97(4): 78496. doi: 10.1111/padm.12565

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thatcher, M. (2002) Regulation after delegation: independent regulatory agencies in Europe, Journal of European Public Policy, 9(6): 95472. doi: 10.1080/1350176022000046445

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thatcher, M. and Stone Sweet, A. (2002) Theory and practice of delegation to non-majoritarian institutions, West European Politics, 25(1): 122. doi: 10.1080/713601583

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Van Veen, A. (2014) Regulation without Representation? Independent Regulatory Authorities and Representative Claim-Making in the Netherlands, Utrecht: Utrecht University Repository.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Verhoest, K. (2018) Agencification in Europe, in E. Ongaro and S. Van Thiel (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Public Administration and Management in Europe, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 32746.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vibert, F. (2007) The Rise of the Unelected: Democracy and the New Separation of Powers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Wood, B.D. and Waterman, R.W. (1991) The dynamics of political control of the bureaucracy, The American Political Science Review, 85(3): 80128. doi: 10.2307/1963851

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Woods, N.D. (2009) Promoting participation? An examination of rulemaking notification and access procedures, Public Administration Review, 69(3): 51830. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2009.01997.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 1 Hebrew University of Jerusalem, , Israel

Content Metrics

May 2022 onwards Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 331 331 331
PDF Downloads 268 268 268

Altmetrics

Dimensions