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Independent Agencies in the United States: Law, Structure, and Politics

ISBN: 9780199812127
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Edition: 1
Publication Date: 2015-04-29
Number of pages: 576
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  • Regular price $160.21

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Description


It is essential for anyone involved in law, politics, and government to comprehend the workings of the federal independent regulatory agencies of the United States. Occasionally referred to as the "headless fourth branch of government," these agencies do not fit neatly within any of the three constitutional branches. Their members are appointed for terms that typically exceed those of the President, and cannot be removed from office in the absence of some sort of malfeasance or misconduct. They wield enormous power over the private sector.

Independent Agencies in the United States provides a full-length study of the structure and workings of federal independent regulatory agencies in the US, focusing on traditional multi-member agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Federal Trade Commission. It recognizes that the changing kaleidoscope of modern life has led Congress to create innovative and idiosyncratic administrative structures including government corporations, government sponsored enterprises governance, public-private partnerships, systems for "contracting out," self-regulation and incorporation by reference of private standards.

In the process, Breger and Edles analyze the general conflict between political accountability and agency independence. They provide a unique comparative review of the internal operations of US agencies and offer contrasts between US, EU, and certain UK independent agencies. Included is a first-of-its-kind appendix describing the powers and procedures of the more than 35 independent US federal agencies, with each supplemented by a selective bibliography.

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