Advertisement

Theoretical Framework

  • Johan Adriaensen
Chapter
Part of the European Administrative Governance book series (EAGOV)

Abstract

Drawing on the Principal-Agent (PA) model, this chapter develops the argument that the Council is best characterised as a hybrid principal, exhibiting traits of both a collective and a multiplicity of principals. The application of this perspective has consequences for the conceptualisation of two key tenets of the PA model: control and information asymmetry. Unlike the traditional focus on the formal treaty-based mechanisms of control, a shift towards the continuous informal interactions between principal and agent is advocated. Similarly, this chapter proposes a focus on administrative capacity, rather than external negotiating context, as a source of information asymmetry. Once these concepts have been refined, the chapter introduces and contextualises the main hypothesis of this book.

Keywords

Member State Information Asymmetry Trade Negotiation Administrative Capacity Individual Member State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Adriaensen, J. (2014). Politics without principals? The member states in the European Union’s external trade policy, Doctoral dissertation, KU Leuven, (225 pages).Google Scholar
  2. Adriaensen, J. & Coremans, E. (2016). Covert integration and informal control. In P. Bursens, C. De Landtsheer, L. Braeckmans, & B. Segaert (Eds.), Complex Political Decision-making: Leadership, legitimacy and communication. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  3. Allen, S. H. & Yuen, A. T. (2014). The politics of peacekeeping: UN Security Council Oversight Across Peacekeeping Missions. International Studies Quarterly, 58(3), 621–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baskoy, T., Evans, B., & Shields, J. (2011). Assessing policy capacity in Canada’s public services: Perspectives of deputy and assistant deputy ministers. Canadian Public Administration, 54(2), 217–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beyers, J. & Trondal, J. (2004). How nation states “Hit” Europe: Ambiguity and representation in the European Union. West European Politics, 27(5), 919–942.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Billiet, S. (2006). From GATT to the WTO: The internal struggle for external competences in the EU. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 44(5), 899–919.Google Scholar
  7. Bó, P. D. (2005). Cooperation under the shadow of the future: Experimental evidence from infinitely repeated games. The American Economic Review, 95(5), 1591–1604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Börzel, T. A., Hofmann, T., Panke, D., & Sprungk, C. (2010). Obstinate and inefficient: Why member states do not comply with European Law. Comparative Political Studies, 43(11), 1363–1390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bouwen, P. (2004). Exchanging access goods for access : A comparative study of business lobbying in the European Union institutions. European Journal of Political Research, 43(3), 337–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brandt, U. S. & Svendsen, G. T. (2013). Why does bureaucratic corruption occur in the EU? Public Choice, 157(3-4), 585–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Calvert, R., McCubbins, M. D., & Weingast, B. R. (1989). A theory of political control and agency discretion. American Journal of Political Science, 33(3), 588–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Commission of the European Communities (2012). Transparency ACTA negotiations MEMO/12/99 13/02/2012. Available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-12-99_en.htm (Last accessed: 23 October 2015)
  13. Copelovitch, M. S. (2010). Master or servant? common agency and the political economy of IMF lending. International Studies Quarterly, 54(1), 49–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Da Conceição-Heldt, E. (2010). Who controls whom? Dynamics of power delegation and agency losses in EU trade politics. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 48(4), 1107–1126.Google Scholar
  15. Da Conceição-Heldt, E. (2011). Variation in EU member states’ preferences and the Commission’s discretion in the Doha Round. Journal of European Public Policy, 18(3), 403–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Da Conceição-Heldt, E. (2013). Do agents “Run Amok”? A Comparison of Agency Slack in the EU and US Trade Policy in the Doha Round. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 15(1), 21–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Damonte, A., & Giuliani, M. (2012). On compliance again. In Paper prepared for the Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on the European Union, Tampere, 13–15 September 2012 (pp. 13–15).Google Scholar
  18. Damro, C. (2007). EU Delegation and Agency in International Trade Negotiations: A cautionary comparison. Jcms Journal Of Common Market Studies, 45(4), 883–903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. De Bièvre, D. & Dür, A. (2005). Constituency interests and delegation in European and American Trade Policy. Comparative Political Studies, 38(10), 1271–1296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. De Ville, F. & Orbie, J. (2014). The European Commission’s neoliberal trade discourse since the crisis: Legitimizing continuity through subtle discursive change. The British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 16(1), 149–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Delreux, T. (2008). The EU as a negotiator in multilateral chemicals negotiations: Multiple principals, different agents. Journal of European Public Policy, 15(7), 1069–1086.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Delreux, T. (2009a). Cooperation and Control in the European Union: The Case of the European Union as International Environmental Negotiator. Cooperation and Conflict, 44(2), 189–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Delreux, T. (2009b). The EU negotiates multilateral environmental agreements: Explaining the agent’s discretion. Journal of European Public Policy, 16(5), 719–737.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Delreux, T. & Kerremans, B. (2010). How agents weaken their principals’ incentives to control: The Case of EU Negotiators and EU Member States in Multilateral Negotiations. Journal of European Integration, 32(4), 357–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Delreux, T. & Van den Brande, K. (2013). Taking the lead: Informal division of labour in the EU’s external environmental policy-making. Journal of European Public Policy, 20(1), 113–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dür, A. & Elsig, M. (2011). Principals, agents, and the European Union’s foreign economic policies. Journal of European Public Policy, 18(3), 323–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Egan, M. (2002). Setting standards: Strategic advantages in international trade. Business Strategy Review, 13(1), 51–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ehrlich, S. D. (2009). How common is the common external tariff?: Domestic influences on European Union Trade Policy. European Union Politics, 10(1), 115–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Elgström, O., Larsén, M. F., & Frennhoff Larsén, M. (2010). Free to trade? Commission autonomy in the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations. Journal of European Public Policy, 17(2), 205–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Elsig, M. (2007). The EU’s choice of regulatory venues for trade negotiations: A tale of agency power? JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 45(4), 927–948.Google Scholar
  31. Elsig, M. & Dupont, C. (2012). European Union Meets South Korea: Bureaucratic interests, exporter discrimination and the negotiations of trade agreements*. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 50(3), 492–507.Google Scholar
  32. Epstein, D. & O’Halloran, S. (1999). Delegating powers: A transaction cost politics approach to policy making under separate powers. Cambridge (Mass.): Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Farazmand, A. (2009). Building administrative capacity for the age of rapid globalization: A modest prescription for the twenty-first century. Public Administration Review, 69(6), 1007–1020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Fellegi, I. (1996). Strengthening our policy capacity. Ottawa.Google Scholar
  35. Frennhoff Larsén, M. (2007). Trade Negotiations between the EU and South Africa: A three-level game. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 45(4), 857–881.Google Scholar
  36. Gastinger, M. (forthcoming). The tables have turned on the European Commission: The changing nature of the pre-negotiation phase in EU bilateral trade agreements. Journal of European Public Policy.Google Scholar
  37. Giuliani, M. (2003). Europeanization in comparative perspective: Institutional fit and national adaptation. In K. Featherstone & C. M. Radaelli (Eds.), The politics of Europeanization (pp. 134–157). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Grindle, M. S. & Hilderbrand, M. E. (1995). Building sustainable capacity in the public sector: What can be done? Public Administration and Development, 15(5), 441–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Haverland, M. & Liefferink, D. (2012a). Member State interest articulation in the Commission phase. Institutional pre-conditions for influencing “Brussels.”. Journal of European Public Policy, 19(2), 179–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Haverland, M. & Liefferink, D. (2012b). Member State interest articulation in the Commission phase. Institutional pre-conditions for influencing “Brussels.”. Journal of European Public Policy, 19(2), 179–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Huber, J. & Shipan, C. (2002). Deliberate discretion?: The institutional foundations of bureaucratic autonomy. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. James, S. & Copeland, P. (2014). Governing in the Shadow of Intergovernmental Hierarchy: Delegation Failure and Executive Empowerment in the European Union. Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 15(4), 518–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Jänicke, M. (2001). The political system’s capacity for environmental policy: The framework for comparison. In H. Weidner & M. Jänicke (Eds.), Capacity Building in National Environmental Policy (pp. 1–18). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  44. Kassim, H. & Menon, A. (2003). The principal-agent approach and the study of the European Union: Promise unfulfilled? Journal of European Public Policy, 10(1), 121–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kassim, H., Menon, A., Peters, B. G., & Wright, V. (Eds.) (2001). The national co-ordination of EU Policy: The european level. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Kaufmann, D., Kraay, A., & Mastruzzi, M. (2009). Governance matters VIII aggregate and individual governance indicators 1996–2008. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 4978, 105.Google Scholar
  47. Kerremans, B. (2004). What went wrong in Cancun ? A principal-agent view on the EU ’ s rationale towards the Doha Development Round. European Foreign Affairs Review, 9(3), 363–393.Google Scholar
  48. Kerremans, B. (2006). Pro-active policy entrepreneur or risk minimizer? A principal–agent interpretation of the EU’s role in the WTO. In O. Elgström & M. Smith (Eds.), The European Union’s roles in international politics (pp. 172–188.). Oxford: Routledge.Google Scholar
  49. Kerremans, B. (2011). The European Commission in the WTO’s DDA Negotiations. A Tale of an Agent, a Single Undertaking, and Twenty-Seven Nervous Principals. In S. Ilavoukis & D. Bourantonis (Eds.), The EU presence in International Organizations (p. 186). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  50. Kiewiet, R. D. & McCubbins, M. D. (1991). The logic of delegation: Congressional parties and the appropriations process. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Kleine, M. (2013a). Informal governance in the European Union: How governments make international organizations work. Cornell: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Kleine, M. (2013b). Trading control: National fiefdoms in international organizations. International Theory, 5(03), 321–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Krause, G. A. (2003). Uncertainty and legislative capacity for controlling the bureaucracy. In B. B. Burden (Ed.), Uncertainty in American Politics (pp. 75–98). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Laffont, J.-J. & Martimort, D. (2002). The theory of incentives: The Principal-Agent Model. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Lupia, A. & McCubbins, M. D. (1994). Who controls? Information and the structure of legislative decision making. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 19(3), 361–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lynn, M., Nielson, D., & Tierney, M. J. (2006). A problem of principals: Common agency and social lending at the multilateral development banks. In D. Hawkins, D. Lake, D. Nielson, & M. Tierney (Eds.), Delegation and Agency in International Organizations (pp. 41–76). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. March, J. G. (1955). An introduction to the theory and measurement of influence. The American Political Science Review, 49(2), 431–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Marks, G., Hooghe, L., & Blank, K. (1996). European Integration from the 1980s: State-Centric v. Multi-level Governance*. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 34(3), 1996.Google Scholar
  59. McCubbins, M. D. & Schwartz, T. (1984). Congressional oversight overlooked: Police patrols versus fire alarms. American Journal of Political Science, 28(1), 165–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Mccubbins, M. D., Noll, R. G., & Weingast, B. R. (1987). Administrative procedures as instruments of political control. Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization, 3(2), 243–277.Google Scholar
  61. Meunier, S. (2000). What single voice? European Institutions and EU–U.S. Trade Negotiations. International Organization, 54(1), 103–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Meunier, S. (2005). Trading voices: The European Union in International Commercial Negotiations. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Meunier, S. & Nicolaidis, K. (1999). Who Speaks for Europe? The Delegation of Trade Authority in the EU. Journal of Common Market Studies, 37(3), 477–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Meunier, S. & Nicolaidis, K. (2006). The European Union as a conflicted trade power. Journal of European Public Policy, 13(6), 906–925.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Milio, S. (2007). Can administrative capacity explain differences in regional performances? Evidence from structural funds implementation in Southern Italy. Regional Studies, 41(4), 429–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Miller, G. J. (2005). The political evolution of principal-agent models. Annual Review of Political Science, 8(1), 203–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Moe, T. M. (1987). An assessment of the positive theory of “Congressional Dominance”. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 12(4), 475–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Nielson, D. L. & Tierney, M. J. (2003). Delegation to International Organizations: Agency theory and World Bank Environmental Reform. International Organization, 57(02), 241–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Painter, M. & Pierre, J. (2005). Challenges to State Policy Capacity. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Panke, D. (2011). Small states in EU negotiations: Political dwarfs or power-brokers? Cooperation and Conflict, 46(2), 123–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Panke, D. (2012). Lobbying Institutional Key Players: How States Seek to Influence the European Commission, the Council Presidency and the European Parliament*. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 50(1), 129–150.Google Scholar
  72. Pollack, M. A. (1997). Delegation, agency, and agenda setting in the European Community. International Organization, 51(1), 99–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Pollack, M. A. (2001). International relations theory and European Integration. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 39(2), 221–244.Google Scholar
  74. Pollack, M. A. (2002). Learning from the Americanists ( Again ): Theory and method in the study of delegation. West European Politics, 25(1), 200–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Radner, R. (1981). Monitoring cooperative agreements in a repeated principal-agent relationship. Econometrica, 49(5), 1127–1148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Rommerskirchen, C. (2013). Keeping the agents leashed: The EU’s external economic governance in the G20. Journal of European Integration, 35(3), 347–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Schneider, C. J. & Tobin, J. L. (2013). Interest coalitions and multilateral aid allocation in the European Union. International Studies Quarterly, 57(1), 103–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Selck, T. J. & Steunenberg, B. (2004). Between power and luck: The European Parliament in the EU Legislative Process. European Union Politics, 5(1), 25–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Shapiro, S. P. (2005). Agency theory. Annual Review of Sociology, 31(1), 263–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Sharma, A. (1997). Professional as agent: Knowledge asymmetry in agency exchange. Academy of Management Review, 22(3), 758–798.Google Scholar
  81. Siles-Brügge, G. (2011). Resisting protectionism after the crisis: Strategic economic discourse and the EU–Korea Free Trade Agreement. New Political Economy, 16(5), 627–653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Tallberg, J. (2008). Bargaining power in the European Council*. Journal of Common Market Studies, 46(3), 685–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Thatcher, M. & Sweet, A. S. (2002). Theory and practice of delegation to non-majoritarian institutions. West European Politics, 25(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. UNDP. (2006). Capacity development. UNDP Practice Note.Google Scholar
  85. Waterman, R. W. & Meier, K. J. (1998). Principal-agent models: An expansion? Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 8(2), 173–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Weber, M. (1960). From Max Weber: Essays in sociology. (G. Mills & C.. Wright, Eds.). Oxford : Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  87. Weingast, B. R. & Moran, M. J. (1983). Bureaucratic discretion or congressional control? Regulatory policymaking by the Federal Trade Commission. The Journal of Political Economy, 91(5), 765–800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Wood, D. B. & Waterman, R. W. (1991). The dynamics of political control of the bureaucracy. The American Political Science Review, 85(3), 801–828.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Wood, D. B. & Waterman, R. W. (1993). The dynamics of political-bureaucratic adaptation. American Journal of Political Science, 37(2), 497–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Woolcock, S. (2005). European Union trade policy: Domestic institutions and systemic factors. In D. Kelly & W. Grant (Eds.), The politics of international trade in the twenty-first century: Actors, issues and regional dynamics (pp. 234–251). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  91. Worsham, J. & Gatrell, J. (2005). Multiple principals, multiple signals: A signaling approach to principal-agent relations. Policy Studies Journal, 33(3), 363–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan Adriaensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Maastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations