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Delegation and Productive power

Oscar Larsson
Uppsala Universitet
Oscar Larsson
Uppsala Universitet
Open Panel

Abstract

Core state functions, such as security, tends be contracted or outsourced from state centre at a higher rate but also in more substantial terms. According to principal-agent theory and ideas of contracts and control this pose no substantial problem to state and popular sovereignty, it is simply a question of organizing and delegating power. In this paper I contest this rather simplified notion which is based on ‘Humean’ causation and a one-dimensional understanding of power. On the contrary, if power is considered as multi-dimensional and productive, delegation of certain powers cause considerable problems for delegation and contracting out. It has for instance been more common to make use of consultants and experts to provide information and analysis in policy areas such as security. At the same time security is no longer a sector but a political field in its own right. This paper combines theoretical, conceptual and empirical analysis to problematize the notion of delegation of ‘productive’ power.