Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Delegation occurs in politics whenever one actor or body grants authority to another to act on behalf of or to carry out a function for the first in a political process. In such general terms, delegation is ubiquitous and a defining feature of politics beyond direct individual actions. Voters delegate to elected officials in representative government; governments delegate to ambassadors in foreign affairs; legislatures delegate to committees the authority to study policy issues and report bills and to bureaucracies the authority to make policy. Because of the breadth of the topic, this entry focuses specifically on delegation from legislatures to bureaucracies in administrative and bureaucratic governments. Delegation has become inherent in this mode of governance as the reach of public policy has expanded beyond what elected legislatures can possibly handle. Such delegation presents particularly interesting institutional and political problems in the United States due to separation of powers, and thus, ...