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Eaton: Can politicians control bureaucrats

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I even say who wrote them. If you have more recent summaries to add to this collection, send them my way I guess. Sorry for the ads; they cover the costs of keeping this online.

Eaton. 2003. Can politicians control bureaucrats? Applying theories of political control to Argentina's democrac. Latin American Politics and Society 45.


The author's main point is that there are notable variations in the legislators' preferences over the methods of bureaucratic control. Moving away from the presidential-parliamentary dichotomy on bureaucratic control, he argues instead that we should examine legislative incentive structures (based on electoral design and party systems) in order to understand variations in methods of political control. In a case study of the reform effort on Argentinean tax collection agency (DGI) during the first Menem administration (1989-1995), the author finds legislative preference towards streamlining rather than deck-stacking as a method for bureaucratic control.


Disadvantages of legislators in developing democracies:


Research on similar subjects


Comparative PoliticsBureaucracyInstitutions

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