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date: 27 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the perspective introduced by Mathew McCubbins, Roger Noll, and Barry Weingast (collectively called “McNollgast”) to explain the origins and effects of the administrative procedures employed by public bureaucracies in the formulation and implementation of public policy. Founded on concepts of positive political theory, this perspective essentially argues that Congress is quite effective at influencing bureaucratic agencies to pursue policies in its own interests, a theory known as “Congressional dominance.” The chapter reviews and contextualizes McNollgast’s seminal arguments, paying particular attention to their 1987 paper “Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control.” It summarizes the content of the paper and discusses the nature of its originality, as well as the reasons for its importance. Finally, it analyses the paper’s key premises that lead McNollgast to interpret administrative procedures as devices to enhance political control.

Keywords: Mathew McCubbins, Roger Noll, Barry Weingast, administrative procedures, public bureaucracies, public policy, Congress, Congressional dominance, political control, positive political theory

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