Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais
versão impressa ISSN 0102-6909
MELO, Marcus André. The politics of regulatory action: accountability, credibility and delegation. Rev. bras. Ci. Soc. [online]. 2001, vol.16, n.46, pp. 56-68. ISSN 0102-6909. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-69092001000200003.
Delegation and accountability are two poles of an unsolved tension in democratic societies. Institutions that acquire a more and more important role in these societies, as regulatory agencies and central banks, need a decision-making autonomy in order to enhance their performance. However, delegation implies in a progressive democratic deficit and insufficient accountability for the leaders. The article discusses the question involving the tension between delegation and accountability that underlies the creation of independent regulatory agencies. The main arguments concerning the logic of delegation and controlling are discussed in the article. The first one refers to the role of Legislative's control (or the lack of) on independent agencies. The second one refers to the delegation of autonomy to regulatory agencies as a rational choice for rulers in a globalized economic environment aiming to bolster credibility. Such arguments are not quite convincing in the public debate. Therefore, it can be inferred that the institutional framework in contemporary democracies presents a limited capacity to promote social control and legitimacy.
Palavras-chave : Delegation; Regulatory agencies; Accountability; Bureaucracy; Regulation.