Efficiency, Enforcement, and Political Control: The Case of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

  • Sean Nicholson-Crotty
  • Jill Nicholson-Crotty
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency Series book series (EAP)


Scholars have long recognized that administrative procedures can potentially serve as a powerful instrument of political control over federal agencies. Positive theorists have articulated the ways in which the manipulation of both process and structure might be used to ensure that agency decisions match the preferences of favored constituencies (McCubbins, Noll, and Weingast 1987, 1989; Macey 1992). They have also suggested that presidents and Congress may use procedural controls to reduce uncertainty regarding future bureaucratic behavior (Moe 1990; Epstein and O’Halloran 1995; Bawn 1995). Assertions regarding the relative power of ex-ante political controls have been challenged by some authors (see, e.g., Horn and Shepsle 1989; Hill and Brazier 1991; West 1997) and the empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of procedural controls is mixed (see, e.g., Hamilton 1996; Balla 1998; Balla and Wright 2001). Nonetheless, the literature on political control of bureaucratic agencies continues to assume an important role for the manipulation of administrative procedures (Richards and Smith 2006).


Bush Administration Political Control Employment Discrimination Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Administrative Reform 
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Copyright information

© Colin Provost and Paul Teske 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean Nicholson-Crotty
  • Jill Nicholson-Crotty

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