Explaining bureaucratic power in intergovernmental relations

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OR I G I N A L A R T I C L E

Explaining bureaucratic power in intergovernmental relations: A network approach

Yvonne Hegele

Leibniz Center for Science and Society, Leibniz

University, Hannover, Germany

Correspondence

Yvonne Hegele, Leibniz Center for Science and

Society, Leibniz University Hannover, Lange

Laube 32, 30159 Hannover, Germany.

Email: yvonne.hegele@lcss.uni-hannover.de

The core assumption of the bureaucratic politics model and a large

part of public administration scholarship is that bureaucrats influ-

ence politicians and political decisions via their crucial role in pre-

paring, coordinating and formulating policy. While this influence

has been analysed in a vertical direction, that is, how much do

bureaucrats influence politicians, the horizontal perspective has

been mostly neglected: which bureaucrats are most powerful and

influential during the process of bureaucratic coordination and

decision-making? Deducing hypotheses from bargaining theory and

testing them with a novel network dataset on German Intergovern-

mental Relations (IGR), this contribution finds that bureaucrats

indeed possess varying degrees of power. Jurisdictional and organi-

zational power resources, such as voting, financial and institutional

power, and also party politics, can best explain these variances in

bureaucratic power. Personal characteristics, such as experience

and education, however, are not used as power resources.

1 | INTRODUCTION

The preparation of policy decisions is one of the core tasks of ministerial bureaucracies. Bureaucrats are in charge of

choosing, formulating and coordinating public policy as well as negotiating with actors within and outside the

politico-administrative system. They prepare policy for the head of department and government or take decisions

(e.g., Peters and Pierre 2016). By doing so, bureaucrats carry out political tasks and can potentially influence political

decisions. This influence can be exerted indirectly due to the role, organization and responsibilities of public officials

as administrative working units in government (Mayntz and Scharpf 1975). In many instances, bureaucrats also take

decisions without the involvement of politicians, which is the most direct form of influence on the political process

(Page 2012). The strength of the bureaucratic influence thereby varies according to the stage of the policy process

and the institutional structure of government (Schnapp 2004). Furthermore, the influence and power of bureaucrats

can vary with the structural and procedural role a certain public administration takes on during the process of policy-

making (Hartlapp et al. 2013). Thus, some bureaucratic organizations or even individual bureaucrats can be more

influential and powerful than others. Yet little is known about which bureaucrats are more powerful in influencing

the political process.

Building on these key insights into bureaucratic influence and power, this contribution aims at developing a

framework to explain differences in influence and power between ministerial bureaucrats. Based on the propositions

DOI: 10.1111/padm.12537

Public Administration. 2018;96:753–768. wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/padm © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd 753

of the bureaucratic politics model, it is argued that bureaucrats from different bureaucratic organizations pursue

varying preferences. To pursue these preferences, they have varying power resources at their disposal. Based on the

bargaining power framework (Bailer 2010), these power resources will be explored.

Measuring power and determining power resources is difficult. Most approaches compare initial positions with

final decisions to estimate how much of the actors’ interests prevailed. Such an approach is problematic for several

reasons, for example strategic signalling (Coddington 1968; Snyder and Diesing 1977), but it is especially problematic

when studying the power of bureaucrats. While politicians’ initial positions are often public, bureaucrats’ are not

because they usually are not public figures. To circumvent these problems, this contribution proposes a new way of

measuring bureaucratic power by using social network analysis. Bureaucrats and their coordination and negotiation

relations can be conceptualized as networks. Those actors who are most central in the coordination and negotiation

process are then assumed to be more powerful during the decision-making process. This conceptualization enables

estimating which factors impact on the power and centrality of bureaucrats.

The question of power and influence of bureaucrats is most pronounced in situations which require intensive

coordination and negotiation and in which a high number of bureaucrats are involved. IGR, meaning processes of

joint decision-making among a number of government executives in multi-level states, represent such an occasion.

For this reason, the power of bureaucratic actors in IGR will be analysed in this contribution. Establishing a frame-

work of analysis and testing it with the most-likely case of Germany is an important step towards a broader and com-

parative analysis of the power of various bureaucrats in decision-making processes.

2 | BUREAUCRATIC POLITICS IN HORIZONTAL INTERGOVERNMENTAL COORDINATION

The bureaucratic politics model (Allison and Halperin 1972; Allison and Zelikow 1999) argues that government deci-

sions can only be properly understood if they are conceptualized as a result of the aggregate of individual decisions

and actions by several actors within this government. A core assumption of the model is that bureaucrats develop

different preferences, objectives and goals, which stem from ‘various conceptions of national … organizational,

domestic and personal interest’ (Allison and Halperin 1972, p. 43). At heart, these various conceptions originate from

the high levels of delegation and specialization which are typical for modern governments (Bouckaert et al. 2010).

These bureaucrats with their varying preferences try to influence politicians in their decision-making. The model pays

attention to the preferences of bureaucrats and the mechanisms through which these are aggregated into a

government decision (Hartlapp et al. 2013, p. 427).

The present contribution focuses not primarily on the interests of bureaucrats per se, but on their power to influ-

ence the decision-making processes. The fact that they possess varying interests thereby makes it necessary for

them to use their power to influence the decision-making process. Power as a concept is defined in the bureaucratic

politics model as ‘effective influence on government decisions and actions’ (Allison and Zelikow 1999, p. 300). Power

thus is the ability of an actor to direct the decision-making process in the desired direction using the available means

to achieve the actor’s preferred outcome (Schneider and Bailer 2002, p. 52). These means are called power resources

in what follows. Bureaucrats possess unevenly distributed power resources which they can use to influence the gov-

ernment decision (Allison and Halperin 1972). These can be resources in the strictest sense, such as financial means,

implicit resources such as veto threats, but also personal characteristics such as experience. Yet, little systematic

knowledge exists about what these resources are and how they are distributed among bureaucrats. To advance

knowledge on this topic, the present contribution develops propositions about power resources which bureaucrats

can make use of when trying to influence decision-making processes. While there are certainly further actors, such

as parties and interests groups, which try to influence political decisions, this analysis concentrates on the process of

bureaucratic decision-making. The power of the bureaucratic actors is analysed in relation to each other and not to

other sources of influence.

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While classical accounts of bureaucratic politics focus on the political–administrative dichotomy asking how

bureaucrats can influence politicians (e.g., Hood and Lodge 2006; Peters et al. 2016), a similar reasoning holds in a

horizontal perspective, namely among different bureaucrats who find themselves in joint decision-making situations.

Government decisions are formulated and taken in a certain way because a certain department has more power and

influence during the decision-making process than another department. Hence, the question arises why some

bureaucrats or departments are more powerful than others and can better influence decisions. Which power

resources make bureaucrats more influential?

Governments usually consist of a small number of departments which are jointly responsible for the executive

functions of government, among them policy formulation and executive decision-making. Studying bureaucratic

power resources within such a setting is associated with some problems of small-N analysis. In contrast, a situation in

which a higher number of departments and bureaucrats are involved in coordination processes would allow quantita-

tive statistical analysis of power and power resources. IGR in multi-level states represent such a setting. Govern-

ments in multi-level states are interdependent in many instances of policy-making and engage in IGR to deal with

joint problems, create joint solutions or simply exchange best practices (Poirier and Saunders 2015, p. 1). For this rea-

son, executives often exchange information, coordinate joint policy, and also try to protect their autonomy from

encroachment by others and try to influence each other (Behnke and Mueller 2017). Thus, IGR occur whenever two

or more governments in federal states must or want to engage in joint actions and take joint decisions. This is, for

example, the case in processes of reforming the federal state where a joint decision needs to be taken, when sub-

states in federal states want or need to cooperate in implementing federal or European law, or when they install or

finance joint organizations. IGR are omnipresent coordination relations between executives in multi-level states.

In most scholarly analysis, IGR among politicians are considered, but these are usually supported by relations

among public administrations (e.g., Johns et al. 2007; Parry 2012; Hegele 2018). Public officials prepare the political

IGR meetings, and just as in any other political process, exchange information, prepare and even negotiate decisions

or take decisions on their own. Thus, due to the high number of government organizations involved in IGR (core

executives and departments from each government), this offers an ideal setting in which to study the power

resources of public administrations.

The horizontal process of decision preparation and decision-making among departments and government actors

is often analysed under the topic of coordination. While coordination, defined as an output or ‘an end-state in which

the policies and programmes of government are characterized by minimal redundancy, incoherence and lacunae’

(Peters 1998, p. 296), might be achieved to a varying degree by governments and their departments, coordination

defined as a process is one of the key actions in which governments and their departments regularly engage. Coordi-

nation as a process emphasizes the ‘strategies and instruments governments use to coordinate organizations or pro-

grams within the public sector’ (Bouckaert et al. 2010, p. 16). This involves analysing ‘the development of ideas about

joint and holistic working, joint information systems, dialogue between agencies, processes of planning, and making

decisions’ (6 2004, p. 106). Coordination is thus conceptualized as the ‘intervening stage of debate and deliberation

[during which] persuasion, reconsideration, conceivably even coercion takes place’ (Shepsle and Boncheck 1997,

p. 44) before a joint decision is taken. Simplifying Metcalfe’s (1994) nine-step coordination scale, the process of coor-

dination is conceptualized as the exchange of information, the search for allies, and the negotiation of compromise or

decisions. First, actors exchange information and viewpoints in order to reduce uncertainty about the interests and

goals of other actors. Second, they negotiate by trying to form alliances with actors with similar interests and goals

or find a compromise with actors which have different interests or goals. The power of bureaucrats and their power

resources are likely to differ between these two processes. Some actors might be more powerful in the information

exchange network; others when it comes to negotiations. Based on these insights, two coordination networks among

bureaucrats will be conceptualized in this contribution; one network of information exchange and one network of

negotiation.

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3 | BUREAUCRATIC POWER RESOURCES

What are the power resources of bureaucrats that they can use to exert influence on the decision-making process?

The bargaining literature in political science has put forward a number of theoretical arguments for resources which

make actors more powerful. The most prominent and established power resources of actors are voting power, eco-

nomic power, institutional power and domestic constraints. Furthermore, initial evidence is found for party politics

and personal experience as power resources. While these theoretical arguments have usually been tested on the

political level, they possess a broader scope of validity. Similar power resources are available to bureaucrats when

preparing and negotiating political decisions. Bureaucrats in joint decision situations can make use of jurisdictional or

organizational as well as individual power resources. In IGR, one bureaucrat usually represents one department. Thus,

each bureaucrat represents and speaks for this department and at the same time can make use of the department’s

power resources. Due to the structural similarity between the EU’s Council of Ministers negotiation and IGR (Scharpf

1985; Poirier et al. 2015), this article applies the theoretical assumptions developed by Bailer (2010) and Tallberg

(2008) for the EU Council of Ministers to IGR in multi-level states in general and bureaucratic decision-making pro-

cesses in particular. The present contribution will thus be the first to test all these possible power resources under

one combined framework and with a coherent empirical dataset.

Voting power as a power resource assumes that the more votes an actor has in a joint decision situation, the

more powerful this actor is because his or her voting choices carry more weight than those of actors with fewer

votes (Tallberg 2008, p. 694; Bailer 2010, p. 745). This argument of course only holds for majority-voting situations

with weighted votes. Bureaucrats can similarly use voting power as a power resource because in bureaucratic

decision-making processes, the bureaucrats represent their jurisdiction and thus the number of votes associated.

H1: The higher the number of votes a bureaucrat represents in a majority-voting situation with

weighted votes, the more powerful the actor.

Economic or financial power can be a power resource because joint decisions often have financial consequences

which need to be distributed among the participating actors. Hence, the support by actors with more financial

resources is necessary in order to make the decision meaningful and their implementation realistic. Similarly to voting

power, the bureaucrats represent their jurisdiction in decision situations and thus also the economic or financial

power of the jurisdiction.

H2a: Bureaucrats representing richer jurisdictions are more powerful than those from poorer

jurisdictions.

On an organizational level, the ministries of finance can be assumed to be more powerful than the other departments

within the jurisdiction because they play an important role in allocating resources among ministries and need to agree

on any additional investments and long-term expenditures (Heller 2015). Thus, it can be assumed that bureaucrats

representing the finance ministries also represent this kind of financial power in joint decision situations.

H2b: Bureaucrats representing the departments of finance are more powerful than bureaucrats from

other departments.

Institutional power is ‘the ability to exit, veto and set intuitional agendas’ (Bailer 2010, p. 746). Veto and exit rights

bring the threat of leaving the decision processes and thus have a higher probability of creating concessions from the

other actors. These resources are, however, distributed equally among the actors and only used rarely (for EU Council

negotiations see Tallberg 2008, p. 694). Agenda setting, on the other hand, is likely to be a relevant power resource.

Agenda setters usually have an information advantage and control the procedures through their ‘responsibility to

manage the agenda, broker agreements and represent the decision body vis-à-vis third parties’ (Tallberg 2008,

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p. 696). This is assumed to be an important power resource for bureaucrats because, as experts with detailed knowl-

edge on the subject, they can act as agenda setters and thus draw on this power resource.

H3a: Bureaucrats representing the agenda setting department or jurisdiction are more powerful than

bureaucrats from the other departments or jurisdictions.

In addition, on the organizational level, the core executives have agenda setting power within their jurisdiction and

thus can be expected to be more powerful (Peters et al. 2003; Dahlström et al. 2011). Thus, bureaucrats representing

the core executives in joint decision situations can use their formal position as power resource.

H3b: Bureaucrats representing the head of government are more powerful than bureaucrats from the

functional departments.

Reflecting on agenda setting and veto power in IGR, the role of the federal government comes to mind. In most fed-

eral states, the federal government has a prominent position. It can put issues on the IGR or public agenda and very

often its agreement or support is needed for a decision to be ratified or implemented successfully. Bureaucrats repre-

senting the federal level could use this as a power resource.

H3c: Bureaucrats representing the federal government are more powerful than bureaucrats from the

sub-state governments.

Domestic constraint is a power resource that is typical for two-level games, which IGR are as well. If actors are con-

strained in their leeway of action at the second (in this case intergovernmental) level by actors at the first (in this case

government) level, this makes them more powerful because the other intergovernmental actors need to make bigger

concessions to get their support or agreement (Putnam 1988; Bailer 2010, p. 747). In bureaucratic IGR, the win-set

of an actor can be limited by the other bureaucrats within its jurisdiction or, in cases of coalition governments, by the

coalition partner.

Several departments of each jurisdiction are involved in coordinating and negotiating IGR decisions. These

departments can choose either to pursue their interests individually or to coordinate among each other. If they

choose to coordinate internally, it is very likely that the result will be an interdepartmental or jurisdictional position.

According to the domestic constraint argument, this strategy gives them more power in IGR because they can credi-

bly argue that a deviation from this position is not possible and their negotiation partner would need to make conces-

sions in order to find an agreement or compromise.

H4a: The bureaucrats representing a jurisdiction where the departments are closely coordinated are

more powerful than bureaucrats from less coordinated jurisdictions.

In coalition governments, the coalition partners could mutually decrease each other’s leeway of action on the inter-

governmental level. Assuming that IGR decisions in the end need the agreement of both coalition partners, this

mutual decrease of leeway is the more likely, the higher the ideological distance between the coalition partners. Coa-

lition partners with a high ideological distance have a lower overlap of win-sets and thus a less flexible common posi-

tion, which they can use to gain concessions from the other IGR actors.

H4b: Bureaucrats representing a jurisdiction where the coalition partners have a high ideological dis-

tance are more powerful than bureaucrats from less ideologically distant coalition governments.

IGR in federal states are the ideal unit of analysis to study party politics on an equal footing with other power

resources. In federal states, clearly defined party families and at least some state-wide parties exist and are involved

in IGR (Bolleyer et al. 2014) while in the study of EU and international relations, party families are more vague and

parties and elections are still based on the national state level (Bailer 2010). The affiliation of the political head of the

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government to a party family affects the bureaucratic actors in IGR in so far as the bureaucrat represents the depart-

ment and its political head in IGR. Thus, through various forms of politicization, most importantly functional politiciza-

tion (Schwanke and Ebinger 2006), party political considerations play a role in bureaucratic decision-making processes

as well. Assuming that actors whose political superiors are affiliated to the same party family share some ideological

viewpoint, the number of party peers involved in the negotiation process could be used as a power resource.

H5a: Bureaucrats representing coalition partners with higher numbers of political party peers are

more powerful than bureaucrats with lower numbers of peers.

Furthermore, congruence of government composition is important in IGR (Bolleyer et al. 2014; León 2017). Due to

the prominent role of the federal government in many IGR processes, party congruence with the federal level could

be a power resource.

H5b: Bureaucrats representing a government that is congruent with the federal government are more

powerful than bureaucrats from incongruent governments.

Moving now to the power resources of the individual actors, experience can be expected to matter (Tallberg 2008,

pp. 698 f.; Bailer 2010, p. 746). The longer an actor is involved in IGR, the more experience (s)he has. Experienced

actors can be an important source of information because they were involved in prior processes and might know more

about the subject than is written down in any document. Furthermore, they also know the other actors and possibly

their negotiation behaviour. In addition, with growing experience, actors might have developed negotiation strategies

that prove more successful. Experience as a power resource might be even more important for bureaucrats than for

politicians because they usually remain longer in their position and thus can acquire more experience over the years.

H6a: The more years of experience bureaucrats have, the more powerful they are.

Related to this, educational background and training could have an effect on how bureaucrats behave and which

strategies they choose in decision-making processes (Tallberg 2008, p. 701; Bailer 2010, p. 746). Public administra-

tion research has shown that among the demographic variables, educational background has the strongest impact on

a bureaucrat’s attitudes and behaviour. According to Christensen and Lægreid (2009), a legal education leads individ-

uals to be more rule driven and to pay attention to legal requirements while bureaucrats with a political or social sci-

ence education are more sensitive to politics and political signals and work more on coordination tasks. Having

power over the decision by directing the decision-making process in a favourable direction needs political sensitivity

and skill. Thus, it can be assumed that bureaucrats with a political or social science education are more powerful than

those with a legal education.

H6b: Bureaucrats with a political or social science education are more powerful than bureaucrats with

a legal education.

4 | RESEARCH DESIGN, DATA AND OPERATIONALIZATION

The research question of which actors are more powerful than others when conducting IGR will be answered using a

y-centred, quantitative research design, testing the different power resources within a multiple regression model.

4.1 | Case selection and description

In order to test new theories or new applications of a theory, most-likely cases are the appropriate choice because

the theoretically expected phenomenon is most likely to be present there. If it is not, the theory is unlikely to apply

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to other, less likely cases (Rohlfing 2012). The German case is a most-likely case for the analysis of power and power

resources in bureaucratic IGR because the German ministerial bureaucracy is regarded as one of the most powerful

in comparative perspective (Schnapp 2004) and it has one of the most elaborate and stable systems of

bureaucratic IGR.

The German ministerial bureaucracy plays a crucial role in policy formulation and decision-making. Ministerial

bureaucrats develop and formulate policy initiatives and coordinate and negotiate proposals with other actors inside

the bureaucracy with the aim of including all relevant aspects and interests at an early stage in order to avoid conflict

within government at a later stage (Mayntz and Scharpf 1975, pp. 67–76; Page 2012). When it comes to IGR, the

ministerial bureaucracy plays a similar role in developing, formulating and coordinating policy with their counterparts

from the other sub-states and the federal state. In this respect, Wagener (1979) described the ‘brotherhood of

experts’ (Fachbruderschaften), a vast network of IGR among bureaucrats from the federal state and the sub-states

working within one sector.

The German system of IGR is one of the most institutionalized and stable systems consisting of the Bundesrat

and 18 ministerial conferences (Auel 2014; Lhotta and van Blumenthal 2015; Hegele and Behnke 2017). The ministe-

rial conferences are voluntary meetings of the sub-state governments with the aim of exchanging information and

coordinating among each other and with the federal government. The Bundesrat is a constitutional organ, the second

chamber through which the sub-states’ governments directly participate in federal legislation and represent the inter-

ests of their sub-state in federal decision-making. The Bundesrat is more institutionalized and meets more regularly

than the ministerial conferences. Furthermore, in the Bundesrat, all actors are engaged in inter-sectoral coordination,

while the ministerial conferences are organized sectorally. Thus, the Bundesrat is chosen as the case for analysis here.

The Bundesrat as a whole holds important veto rights in federal legislation. When the administrative power of

the German sub-states (Länder) and their finances are affected as well as for constitutional changes, the consent of

the (qualified) majority of the votes is mandatory for ratification (Article 52, 77, Basic Law). The Bundesrat holds an

absolute veto in these cases, which constitute up to 40 per cent of federal legislation. In all other cases, it can call a

mediation committee and has at least a suspensive veto that can severely delay the process but be overruled with a

Bundestagmajority (Article 77, Basic Law). Additionally, the Bundesrat itself can initiate federal law (Article 76 (1), Basic

Law).

In order to prepare the Bundesrat sessions and decisions, a vast bureaucratic apparatus has been set up. Within

each department of the federal state and each sub-state, a section or staff unit is responsible for the preparation of

Bundesrat matters when the department is involved. In addition, there exists a section in each government chancel-

lery at both levels of government (Bundeskanzleramt, Staats- und Senatskanzleien). This section is responsible for the

coordination of the department sections in order to come to a joint Land position. To coordinate Bundesrat matters

with the other Länder and the federal state, a special division of the government chancellery called Land representa-

tion (Landesvertretung) is stationed directly in the capital Berlin (Schrenk 2010). These ministerial bureaucrats are not

usually politicians or political appointees but career civil servants who remain in this coordination position even when

the party composition of the government changes. These bureaucrats meet in a recurring three-week sequence in

order to prepare Bundesrat decisions (Schrenk 2010).

4.2 | The network dataset

To capture the bureaucratic coordination process surrounding the Bundesrat, a network dataset was collected by the

author in a standardized online survey among the Länder government actors in Germany from August to November

2015. The survey was sent out to bureaucrats responsible for multi-level or Bundesrat coordination in all 171 ministe-

rial bureaucracies (i.e., government chancelleries, Land representations and sectoral departments) of all the Länder.

The respondents were shown a list of possible contact partners by position, and were asked, ‘Please indicate, with

whom of the following actors you have contact during the preparation of the Bundesrat.’ Thus, the individual contacts

and coordination behaviour was surveyed. In a second step, they were presented with a table of the chosen actors

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and asked: ‘You have indicated that you have contact with the following actors. With whom of these actors do you

pre-negotiate final decisions?’ Thus, data for two networks were collected: a network of information exchange and a

network of negotiation. The relations reported can be interpreted as a mean value of typical information exchange

and negotiation contacts over the last year. If respondents have not indicated a contact with another actor, this

either means that no contact takes place or that it is not relevant to the actor. All 16 German sub-states participated

in the survey with a response rate of 65 per cent (112 out of 171), without any systematic missing data (for descrip-

tive statistics of the networks see Table 1).

4.3 | Measuring power in social networks

The dependent variable, power in bureaucratic IGR, is operationalized using the centrality concept of social network

analysis. Social network analysis is an appropriate tool to research power because power as such is relational

(McClurg and Young 2011, p. 39). Power, defined as the ability of an actor to direct the decision-making process in

the desired direction, can be achieved by communicating with other actors during the process. Network data of com-

munication relations are genuine process data which are able to overcome some of the well-known problems of the

analysis of negotiations and power, namely the ‘difficulties of conducting research on a … body that convenes behind

closed doors, whose proceedings are undocumented and whose participants are unusually hard to gain access to’

(Tallberg 2008, p. 686). In empirical studies, these problems are usually addressed by approximating the power of

actors by comparing initial positions of actors and final outcomes of negotiations. This approach, however, has

attracted considerable criticism for various reasons (see Bailer 2010). Using network data on the bureaucratic

decision-making process can help overcome these problems by providing information on the actual conduct of

decision-making processes.

Centrality is repeatedly used as operationalization and measurement for concepts such as ‘power’, ‘(structural)

importance’, ‘strategic significance’ and ‘importance of prominence’ (Hanneman and Riddle 2005; Henning 2009;

Wasserman and Faust 2009, p. 169; Scott 2013, p. 83). Centrality theoretically indicates that actors have a pro-

nounced position in the network. Among the several options which exist to measure centrality in networks (Freeman

1978), indegree centrality is chosen in this analysis. It measures centrality based on the incoming communication

relations of an actor. With the data used here, an actor has an incoming relation if another actor named him as

communication partner.

This measure is chosen due to theoretical considerations as well as consideration of the data-generating process.

Theoretically, a high number of incoming communication ties indicates that the other actors perceive contact with

the actor in question as relevant in the decision-making process, at least relevant enough to report it. If many actors

report that they are in contact with the actor, it can be reasonably assumed that this actor is powerful. In the network

of information exchange, a high indegree centrality means that this actor is powerful because (s)he is in possession of

more information from different sources and can also control the information flow by providing or retaining this or

that piece of information. In the negotiation network, high indegree centrality indicates power because actors with a

high number of negotiation relations can influence several processes of finding agreement and compromise. In addi-

tion, they usually have various options for compromise from which they can choose the one most profitable

for them.

Furthermore, from the viewpoint of the data-generating process, indegree centrality is less prone to manipula-

tion by the actors. First, while the reporting of outdegree centrality can be manipulated by an actor in an