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McCubbins, Noll, and Weingast: Structure and process, politics and policy

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.

McCubbins, Noll, and Weingast. 1989. Structure and process, politics and policy: Administrative Arrangements and the political control o. Virgina Law Review 75:431-82.

SUMMARY [from a class handout]: In the same line of "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," the authors state that structure and process are necessary strategies that politicians use to control bureaucratic behavior. To support this argument, McCubbins et al. use the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a case study.

Two main assumptions:

STRUCTURE AND PROCESS vs OVERSIGHT

PREVENTING THE COURTS FROM INFLUENCING POLICY MORE THAN CONGRESS

Federal courts as third actors that can affect policy outcomes: Vague legislative mandates and weak standards for judicial review give courts an opportunity to shape policy as they see it. The risk is that courts' intervention can affect the "ideal" outcome that politicians (the winning coalition) desire. Therefore, structure and process can work as mechanisms that limit judicial decisions.


Research by the same authors

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Tags

McCubbins, Mathew (author)Noll, Roger (author)Weingast, Barry (author)Political ScienceAmerican PoliticsBureaucracyInstitutions

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