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 journalArticlepeer-review

    17 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 - Oct 2016

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'The Politics of Agency Death: Ministers and the Survival of Government Agencies in a Parliamentary System'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this