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Informal bargaining in bicameral systems: Explaining delegation by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament

Broniecki, Philipp; (2019) Informal bargaining in bicameral systems: Explaining delegation by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This project is about the effects of institutional design on decision-making in the European Union. Specifically: delegation to informal inter-institutional legislative bargaining (the ‘informal arena’). I develop a spatial complete information model to explain the decision to delegate to the ‘informal arena’ and test its empirical implications. The meta-theoretical umbrella for this project is New Institutionalism (more specifically, Rational Choice Institutionalism) and I view the decision to delegate through a principal-agent lens, i.e., delegation may result in policy outcomes that differ from counterfactual non-delegated acts (agency-drift). I contribute to the theoretical and empirical literatures on informal law-making in the European Union and legislative organisation more generally. In the EU, the ‘formal arena’ co-exists with the ‘informal arena.’ In the formal arena, bills shuttle back and forth between two chambers in a maximum of three reading stages. In the informal arena, inter-institutional negotiations are delegated. The delegations meet behind closed doors and the resulting compromise is rubber-stamped by the parent chambers. The extant literature suggests that law-making in the informal arena leads to agency-drift. The questions that I address in this project are: when does delegation to the informal arena take place and, equally, when does delegation not take place? Furthermore, does delegation lead to agency-drift? My findings suggest that delegation is less likely, the greater the risk of agency-drift and more likely the greater the legislative workload cost of not delegating. I show that the bicameral system alters the incentive structure of legislative actors such that agency-drift is rare or moderate if it occurs.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Informal bargaining in bicameral systems: Explaining delegation by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10078051
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