Policy Networks and the U.S. Congressional Efforts to Terminate Four Federal Agencies

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4 Scopus citations


The article develops a partial explanation for the varying fates of four federal agencies that the U.S. Congress targeted for elimination in the 1980s or 1990s: the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Congress successfully eliminated the CAB, ICC, and OTA; the NEA, however, survived. The argument of the article is that a vibrant policy network surrounding an agency Congress has targeted for elimination provides resiliency to resist congressional termination efforts by weaving together the relevant institutions and organizations into a resilient policy network and generating critical political support during dire times. A model of policy network resiliency is presented and applied to congressional efforts to terminate the CAB, ICC, OTA, and NEA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-111
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • path dependence
  • policy networks
  • termination theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Public Administration


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