Agent Interaction as a Source of Discretion for the EU High Representative

Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


Rivalry with the European Commission characterized the first years of the newly created High Representative, leading to a limited discretion of the incumbent Catherine Ashton. The empirical analysis suggests that agent interaction has an independent effect on the room for maneuver of multiple agents. The discretion of an agent is not just a function of the delegation and control relationship with the principal, but also a function of the interaction with other agents. While the member states (principals) delegated tasks of agenda management, strategic planning, crisis management as well as communication to the High Representative (agent), competition with the European Commission caused a situation in which the High Representative enjoyed less room for maneuver than originally granted by member states.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Johns Hopkins UniversityWashingtonUSA

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