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Political Struggles and the Forging of Autonomous Government Agencies

Political Struggles and the Forging of Autonomous Government Agencies
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The central argument of Political Struggles and the Forging of Autonomous Government Agencies is that the level of autonomy of government agencies is the outcome of struggles between opposing coalitions. Using an innovative tool kit of institutional economics and network bureaucracy analysis, Ballinas Valdes shows how political struggles between politicians and bureaucrats often generate a muddle of agencies that lack coherence and are subject to different and conflicting levels of political control.

Behind the veil of the usually simple picture of Mexican political power is a model with universal applications which challenges the prevailing literature on the birth of autonomous agencies. The case studies in this book illustrate how politicians and bureaucrats use agency design as a weapon in the battle for political survival. The evidence shows that political struggles and the agency creation process are inseparable, and that failing to understand one risks misunderstanding the other. Only by taking into account these factors can we fully explain why autonomous agencies are not the result of simple systematic design, but are instead produced by pluralistic interactions of political and bureaucratic forces.
Palgrave Macmillan; June 2011
268 pages; ISBN 9780230307957
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