Despite the decades of theorization, the causal processes in-between acts of delegation and agency discretion and autonomy are still not developed theoretically, with much ambiguity about how the model’s elements are causally connected. This chapter shows that process-tracing is a useful methodological tool for improving our theoretical and empirical understanding of the causal processes underlying the pa model. Process-tracing, as a case-study method, requires explicitly theorizing the causal mechanism that connects delegation to agency costs and forces the analyst to unpack the process empirically. The added-value of process-tracing is illustrated on the example of the council secretariat’s facilitating leadership in intergovernmental negotiations. It is claimed that process-tracing confronts the principal–agent model to closer logical scrutiny, ultimately leading to stronger causal claims and better theorization.
|Title of host publication||The Principal Agent model and the European Union|
|Editors||Tom Delreux, Johan Adriaensen|
|Place of Publication||Houndsmills|
|ISBN (Print)||978-3-319-55136-4, 978-3-319-85576-9|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
|Series||Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics|