Bureaucratic autonomy in practice: a comparative case study of revenue administrations in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic

Clarke, Jennifer Ianthe (2014). Bureaucratic autonomy in practice: a comparative case study of revenue administrations in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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In recent years, ‘agencification’ and ‘autonomisation’ seem to have emerged as the new orthodoxy in the reform of public administration, fuelling a lively academic debate on bureaucratic autonomy and political control - on whether these two phenomena are diametrically opposed or can co-exist alongside each other. Using as its empirical basis two case studies of revenue administrations in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, this cross-jurisdictional, interdisciplinary piece of research seeks to advance current understanding of bureaucratic autonomy on two fronts. First, it explores the under-researched issue of factors which may condition the exercise of bureaucratic discretion. Second, it is distinct from current works because of its comparative analysis of bureaucratic manoeuvrability within differing legal traditions and systems of government. Notwithstanding the cases’ historical and cultural differences, findings revealed a number of common functional realities. The more influential macro-institutional constraints fed through to impact on internal operational functioning in areas such as the establishment of tax priorities and revenue targets. No support was found for the hypothesis that different legal traditions have a differential impact on bureaucratic functioning. In both jurisdictions, a detailed ‘fussy’ style of drafting revenue laws aims towards certainty and predictability, with no particular stakeholder biases. Legal drafting style may be a function of the specific policy area.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Government and Society
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/5061


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