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Rulemaking as a Strategic Enterprise

Rulemaking as a Strategic Enterprise

Chapter:
(p.54) 3 Rulemaking as a Strategic Enterprise
Source:
Bending the Rules
Author(s):
Rachel Augustine Potter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226621883.003.0003

Chapter 3 presents the book’s theory and explains agencies' managerial advantages. The logic is that, from the agency's perspective, writing a rule is a significant investment, presenting important opportunity costs and staking the agency's reputation. As such, agencies make sure that the rules they write represent their preferred (albeit constrained) policy. Fortunately, from the agency's perspective, they have tools that help them protect their investments. These include the power to propose a policy—a power that is well understood by political scientists—as well as procedural power. Because interventions by the president, Congress, or the courts are costly to the agency, agencies use their procedural powers strategically to avoid political sanctions and secure policy gains. The chapter concludes with a set of testable hypotheses, derived from the broader theory, that offer expectations about how agencies will strategically manage procedures relating to proposed rule writing, public consultation, and timing.

Keywords:   theory, procedural politicking, hypotheses, writing, consultation, timing, reputation

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