Exploring the Dynamics of Delegation Over Time: Insights from Italian Anti-Corruption Agencies

by Fabrizio Di Mascio, Martino Maggetti, Alessandro Natalini

According to classical literature on delegation in the regulatory state, independent regulators are established to enhance the credibility of regulatory policies.

In that regard, anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) are peculiar not only because they deal with extremely salient issues, but also because they receive delegated competencies from the government as the “principal” while, at the same time, the government is their regulatory target.

How do governments manage regulatory reforms to strike a balance between gaining credibility as “principals” and possibly losing credibility as targets?

Drawing from insights on historical institutionalism, this article undertakes a qualitative longitudinal analysis of organizational change regarding ACAs in Italy, where these kinds of agencies are particularly relevant to political leaders. The findings shed light on delegation as a dynamic process for which multiple factors intersect over time.

  • Di Mascio, F. , Maggetti, M. and Natalini, A. (2018), Exploring the Dynamics of Delegation Over Time: Insights from Italian Anti‐Corruption Agencies (2003–2016). Policy Stud J. . doi:10.1111/psj.12253