chapter  2
29 Pages

What is available and what is missing in the study of quangos?

ByGeert Bouckaert, Guy B. Peters

Numerous structural changes occurring in the public sector have increased the awareness of the existence and importance of autonomous and quasi-autonomous organizations. The role of these organizations first came to academic prominence during the 1970s when the term “quango” was introduced into the lexicon of political science and public administration (Hague, Mackenzie, and Barker 1975), at least in the Anglo-Saxon world. More recently, governments have created, or attempted to create, “agencies” or other forms of more or less autonomous organizations, to implement programs. In most instances these organizations remain responsible to the minister but yet have substantial autonomy from the ministries. These forms of organization have come to be used more commonly in a wide variety of countries around the world. In addition to the Anglo-Saxon countries, where these forms of organization have taken on a number of different names, other industrialized democracies and many less developed countries have copied these formats for their own governments with an even wider range of terminologies.