Jarle Trondal reviews the book Government Agencies: Practices and Lessons from 30 Countries in the latest issue of Public Administration Review.
The book Government Agencies is edited by Koen Verhoest, Sandra Van Thiel, Geert Bouckaert and Per Lægreid. In his review, Trondal concludes that few literatures have addressed the agency phenomenon in a comprehensive fashion. Government Agencies, he states, is 'one striking exception'. Trondal believes that the role of agencies and their potential impact has often been derived from their legal competences and their formal design features.
Whilst this constitutes a necessary starting point, he writes, such approaches need to be supplemented by the study of actual practices to verify the extent to which the expected cues and patterns manifest themselves in practice. In Trondals own words, '[t]he volume by Verhoest et al. contributes to rebalancing this overly legal bias in much of the agency literature'.
Public Administration Review, vol. 74, no. 4, 2014, pp. 545-549.