5 Citations (Scopus)


With this paper we explore the potential of committees in parliamentary systems of government to influence environmental public policy making. We draw on delegation theory to argue that parliamentary committees are crucial ex post mechanisms used by the legislature (the principal) to monitor the activities of the executive (its agent). To examine this relationship in depth, we focus on the United Kingdom's Environmental Audit (select) Committee (EAC), which is an innovation as the world's first cross-cutting environmental parliamentary committee. We find that delegation theory provides fresh insights into the relationship between the EAC, the legislature, the executive, and the wider public. We find that an incomplete system of delegation in the United Kingdom has left an accountability deficit, meaning that the EAC's ability to exert influence on the executive's environmental policy is limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-632
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • delegation theory
  • environmental policy
  • evidence
  • parliamentary committees
  • policy influence
  • accountability
  • policy making
  • regional policy
  • state role
  • theoretical study
  • United Kingdom

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