Legal independence vs. leaders' reputation: Exploring drivers of ethics commissions' conduct in new democracies

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dc.contributor.authorTomic, Slobodan- John Wiley & Sons Ltden_US
dc.identifier.citationPublic Administrationen_US
dc.description.abstractThe article addresses the emerging debate in delegation scholarship over the role of legal independence vs. reputational activism of agency leaders, in shaping de facto independence. The study explores a transitional context, analysing the enforcement styles of Serbian and Macedonian ethics commissions. Through a qualitative analysis of the commissions' enforcement styles, and a quantitative analysis of their rhetorical patterns, the article finds that the commissions' de facto independence was not a function of their legal independence but rather of the reputational craft of their leaders. In new democracies, the role of structural agency insulation is minimized both in containing as well as in fostering de facto independence: informal networks, on the one hand, provide non‐institutional routes for principals to undermine agencies' de facto independence; external conditionality and increased policy salience, on the other hand, provide reputational opportunities for agency leaders to overcome low legal independence.en_US
dc.rightsThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Tomic S. Legal independence vs. leaders' reputation: Exploring drivers of ethics commissions' conduct in new democracies. Public Admin. 2018;1–17, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.en_US
dc.subjectLegal independenceen_US
dc.subjectEthics commissionsen_US
dc.subjectSerbia and Macedoniaen_US
dc.subjectNew democraciesen_US
dc.titleLegal independence vs. leaders' reputation: Exploring drivers of ethics commissions' conduct in new democraciesen_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen_US
dc.statusPeer revieweden_US
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