The Effect of Political Disagreement on Discretion: Mechanisms and Conditions

Annemarije Oosterwaal*, Diane Payne, René Torenvlied

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Delegation models make contrasting assumptions about how political disagreement affects discretion and empirical research reports contradictory findings. The authors aim to shed new light on this puzzle by distinguishing the mechanisms that drive the effect of political disagreement on discretion. Four conditions influence the strength of each mechanism: (a) policy salience, (b) actors involved, (c) their capacity, and (d) decision rule. They explore this theoretical framework on the case of economic restructuring in the United Kingdom and show that political disagreement reduces discretion. There is no significant interaction effect between salience and political disagreement on discretion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)800-824
Number of pages25
JournalAdministration and Society
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Disagreement
  • Discretion
  • Institutional context
  • n/a OA procedure


Dive into the research topics of 'The Effect of Political Disagreement on Discretion: Mechanisms and Conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this