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“Supervision among Agencies for the President: Control over Bureaucracy through Interagency Coordination” by Takaharu Saito

May 27, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Author: Takaharu Saito (Univ. of Tokyo).

[Paper, Slides]

Abstract: How does the U.S. president control bureaucracy and implement preferred policies? Extant research has examined several methods of command, such as executive orders and regulatory reviews. However, such studies focused on one-on-one relationships with government agencies and ignored plurality of the agencies, which leads to the underestimation of the control over the bureaucracy. To fill this research gap, the present study uses a unique dataset of rulemaking across 40 government agencies to examine interagency coordination in the rulemaking process as a mechanism for the institution of presidential control over the bureaucracy. Results show that the president selects agencies in interagency frameworks on the basis of their ideological leanings being akin to the president's personal beliefs. In addition, if other agencies are aligned with the president, then control over the bureaucracy is improved, even when one agency in the framework is opposed to the president. This finding suggests that plurality of the agencies favors the president.

Discussants: Jesse Crosson (Princeton and Trinity University), Kenneth Lowande (Michigan), and Sharece Thrower (Vanderbilt).

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