Book (electronic)

The governor's dilemma: indirect governance beyond principals and agents (2020)

in: Oxford scholarship online

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Abstract

'The Governor's Dilemma' develops a general theory of indirect governance based on the tradeoff between governor control and intermediary competence; the empirical chapters apply that theory to a diverse range of cases encompassing both international relations and comparative politics. The theoretical framework paper starts from the observation that virtually all governance is indirect, carried out through intermediaries. But governors in indirect governance relationships face a dilemma: competent intermediaries gain power from the competencies they contribute, making them difficult to control, while efforts to control intermediary behavor limit important intermediary competencies, including expertise, credibility, and legitimacy. Thus, governors can obtain either high intermediary competence or strong control, but not both.