The Politics of Agency Death

Ministers and the Survival of Government Agencies in a Parliamentary System

Oliver James, Nicolai Petrovsky, Alice Moseley, George A. Boyne

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article extends the theory of government agency survival from separation of powers to parliamentary government systems. It evaluates expectations of increased risk to agencies following transitions in government, prime minister or departmental minister, and from incongruence between the originally establishing and currently overseeing political executive. Using survival models for UK executive agencies between 1989 and 2012, the study finds that politics trumps performance. Ministers seek to make their mark by terminating agencies created by previous ministers, which is reinforced by high media attention to the agency. Performance against agency targets is not associated with higher termination risk, and replacement agencies do not perform any better than those that were terminated. Financial autonomy provides some protection for agencies that are less dependent on budgetary appropriations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)763-784
    Number of pages22
    JournalBritish Journal of Political Science
    Volume46
    Issue number4
    Early online date20 Jan 2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016

    Fingerprint

    government agency
    minister
    death
    politics
    separation of powers
    performance
    autonomy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science

    Cite this

    The Politics of Agency Death : Ministers and the Survival of Government Agencies in a Parliamentary System. / James, Oliver; Petrovsky, Nicolai; Moseley, Alice; Boyne, George A.

    In: British Journal of Political Science, Vol. 46, No. 4, 01.10.2016, p. 763-784.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    @article{1c1e44025e774aeda00a69837ff39ca3,
    title = "The Politics of Agency Death: Ministers and the Survival of Government Agencies in a Parliamentary System",
    abstract = "This article extends the theory of government agency survival from separation of powers to parliamentary government systems. It evaluates expectations of increased risk to agencies following transitions in government, prime minister or departmental minister, and from incongruence between the originally establishing and currently overseeing political executive. Using survival models for UK executive agencies between 1989 and 2012, the study finds that politics trumps performance. Ministers seek to make their mark by terminating agencies created by previous ministers, which is reinforced by high media attention to the agency. Performance against agency targets is not associated with higher termination risk, and replacement agencies do not perform any better than those that were terminated. Financial autonomy provides some protection for agencies that are less dependent on budgetary appropriations.",
    author = "Oliver James and Nicolai Petrovsky and Alice Moseley and Boyne, {George A.}",
    year = "2016",
    month = "10",
    day = "1",
    doi = "10.1017/S0007123414000477",
    language = "English",
    volume = "46",
    pages = "763--784",
    journal = "British Journal of Political Science",
    issn = "0007-1234",
    publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
    number = "4",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The Politics of Agency Death

    T2 - Ministers and the Survival of Government Agencies in a Parliamentary System

    AU - James, Oliver

    AU - Petrovsky, Nicolai

    AU - Moseley, Alice

    AU - Boyne, George A.

    PY - 2016/10/1

    Y1 - 2016/10/1

    N2 - This article extends the theory of government agency survival from separation of powers to parliamentary government systems. It evaluates expectations of increased risk to agencies following transitions in government, prime minister or departmental minister, and from incongruence between the originally establishing and currently overseeing political executive. Using survival models for UK executive agencies between 1989 and 2012, the study finds that politics trumps performance. Ministers seek to make their mark by terminating agencies created by previous ministers, which is reinforced by high media attention to the agency. Performance against agency targets is not associated with higher termination risk, and replacement agencies do not perform any better than those that were terminated. Financial autonomy provides some protection for agencies that are less dependent on budgetary appropriations.

    AB - This article extends the theory of government agency survival from separation of powers to parliamentary government systems. It evaluates expectations of increased risk to agencies following transitions in government, prime minister or departmental minister, and from incongruence between the originally establishing and currently overseeing political executive. Using survival models for UK executive agencies between 1989 and 2012, the study finds that politics trumps performance. Ministers seek to make their mark by terminating agencies created by previous ministers, which is reinforced by high media attention to the agency. Performance against agency targets is not associated with higher termination risk, and replacement agencies do not perform any better than those that were terminated. Financial autonomy provides some protection for agencies that are less dependent on budgetary appropriations.

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84921856913&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1017/S0007123414000477

    DO - 10.1017/S0007123414000477

    M3 - Article

    VL - 46

    SP - 763

    EP - 784

    JO - British Journal of Political Science

    JF - British Journal of Political Science

    SN - 0007-1234

    IS - 4

    ER -