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From Maastricht to Brexit by Richard Bellamy and Dario Castiglione

Controlling the Experts? A Study of Norwegian Public Inquiry Commissions 1972-2016

Public Policy
 
Knowledge
 
Policy-Making
 
Presenter
Stine Hesstvedt
Universitetet i Oslo
Authors
Stine Hesstvedt
Universitetet i Oslo

Abstract
Policymakers do not merely have problem solving and knowledge-production in mind when they invite experts to participate in expert groups, inquiry commissions and other policy-advisory bodies. Rather, a growing literature on experts’ role in policymaking suggests that politicians are likely to seek advice that fulfills governmental and partisan aims and ambitions. However, this paper argues that present scholarship does not explicitly theorize how experts involved in policymaking can be subject to political control. It asks: How do political-administrative actors retain control over policy formulation when it involves external experts? Theoretically, it suggests that insights from the ‘politics of delegation’ literature within public administration scholarship can help us to understand and conceptualize the question of political control. Empirically, it attempts to identify control patterns by studying Norwegian public advisory commissions and applying a dataset on commissions appointed between 1972 and 2017.
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