An integrative approach to the politics of central bank independence: lessons from Britain, Germany and Italy

Quaglia, Lucia (2005) An integrative approach to the politics of central bank independence: lessons from Britain, Germany and Italy. West European Politics, 28 (3). pp. 549-568. ISSN 0140-2382

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Abstract

This article proposes a three-tier framework for analysing the politics of central bank independence. International factors explain the general trend towards central bank independence. However, they are framed differently by various national systems. At the national level, for heuristic purposes, the analysis can be structured by focusing on 'suppliers' and 'demanders' of central bank independence. The former are the political authorities, whereas the latter are socioeconomic forces and interest groups, with the central bank positioned in-between. At the micro-institutional level, central banks can be influential economic and political actors situated at the interface between levels of governance. The added value of this integrated framework is appraised using one case study, the Bank of Italy's path to independence, which is compared with the experience of the Bank of England and the Bundesbank. In contrast to many works on central bank independence, the methodology adopted here is qualitative, rather than quantitative, and is grounded in empirical research.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article was awarded the Vincent Wright prize for the best article published in West European Politics in 2005. It presents an innovative three-tier framework for analysing the politics of central bank independence, bridging different sub-disciplines in political science. It is argued that international factors explain the general trend towards central bank independence. However, they are framed differently by various national systems. At the national level, for heuristic purposes, the analysis can be structured by focusing on `suppliers' and `demanders' of central bank independence. The former are the political authorities, whereas the latter are socioeconomic forces and interest groups, with the central bank positioned in-between. At the micro-institutional level, central banks can be influential economic and political actors situated at the interface between levels of governance. The added value of this integrated framework is appraised using one case study, the Bank of Italy's path to independence, which is compared with the experience of the Bank of England and the Bundesbank. In contrast to many works on central bank independence, the methodology adopted here is qualitative, rather than quantitative, and is grounded in empirical research. It is one of the very few articles on central banking written by political scientists. The article's themes are explored in greater detail in her new book 'Central Banking Governance in the European Union' (Routledge, December 2007).
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Depositing User: Lucia Quaglia
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:13
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2012 15:38
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30281
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