Winner of the 2020 Outstanding Book Award Presented by the Public and Nonprofit Section of the National Academy of Management
Winner of the 2019 Louis Brownlow Book Award from the National Academy of Public Administration
Bureaucracy, confusing paperwork, and complex regulations—or what public policy scholars Pamela Herd and Donald Moynihan call administrative burdens—often introduce delay and frustration into our experiences with government agencies. Administrative burdens diminish the effectiveness of public programs and can even block individuals from fundamental rights like voting. In AdministrativeBurden, Herd and Moynihan document that the administrative burdens citizens regularly encounter in their interactions with the state are not simply unintended byproducts of governance, but the result of deliberate policy choices. Because burdens affect people’s perceptions of government and often perpetuate long-standing inequalities, understanding why administrative burdens exist and how they can be reduced is essential for maintaining a healthy public sector.
Through in-depth case studies of federal programs and controversial legislation, the authors show that administrative burdens are the nuts-and-bolts of policy design. Regarding controversial issues such as voter enfranchisement or abortion rights, lawmakers often use administrative burdens to limit access to rights or services they oppose. For instance, legislators have implemented administrative burdens such as complicated registration requirements and strict voter-identification laws to suppress turnout of African American voters. Similarly, the right to an abortion is legally protected, but many states require women seeking abortions to comply with burdens such as mandatory waiting periods, ultrasounds, and scripted counseling. As Herd and Moynihan demonstrate, administrative burdens often disproportionately affect the disadvantaged who lack the resources to deal with the financial and psychological costs of navigating these obstacles.
However, policymakers have sometimes reduced administrative burdens or shifted them away from citizens and onto the government. One example is Social Security, which early administrators of the program implemented in the 1930s with the goal of minimizing burdens for beneficiaries. As a result, the take-up rate is about 100 percent because the Social Security Administration keeps track of peoples’ earnings for them, automatically calculates benefits and eligibility, and simply requires an easy online enrollment or visiting one of 1,200 field offices. Making more programs and public services operate this efficiently, the authors argue, requires adoption of a nonpartisan, evidence-based metric for determining when and how to institute administrative burdens, with a bias toward reducing them. By ensuring that the public’s interaction with government is no more onerous than it need be, policymakers and administrators can reduce inequality, boost civic engagement, and build an efficient state that works for all citizens.
This book explores the dynamic changes now taking place in the South Korean government as a result of recent social and economic liberalization. Sung Deuk Hahm and L. Christopher Plein trace the emergence in Korea of a post-developmental state, in which both increasingly autonomous capital interests and growing public expectations of a higher quality of life challenge existing authoritarian institutions. Separating out the constituent parts of the Korean state, they then explore the evolving roles of the Korean presidency and bureaucracy in setting national policy.
The authors analyze the importance of social and cultural factors, as well as the motives of individual political actors, in shaping institutional change in Korea. They show how shifting socioeconomic conditions have altered the way political decisions are made. Hahm and Plein illustrate these transitions with concrete examples of policy making in the area of technology development and transfer—an area of critical importance to Korea's rapid modernization.
Since the expansion of public programs in the 1960s, charges of bureaucratic inefficiency, unresponsiveness, and “red tape” have been rampant. The response has often been extensive reorganization in an effort to change the source of control, carry out specific missions, and to achieve greater inter-agency cooperation. Karen M. Hult examines why these restructurings often fail, through three case studies: the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Design (HUD); the Minnesota Department of Energy, Planning, and Development; and the Minneapolis Community Development Agency. Hult's study assesses the usefulness of mergers and reorganizations as a policy tool, and offers a valuable contribution to the study of public management and organization design.
Development, it is generally assumed, is good and necessary, and in its name the West has intervened, implementing all manner of projects in the impoverished regions of the world. When these projects fail, as they do with astonishing regularity, they nonetheless produce a host of regular and unacknowledged effects, including the expansion of bureaucratic state power and the translation of the political realities of poverty and powerlessness into "technical" problems awaiting solution by "development" agencies and experts. It is the political intelligibility of these effects, along with the process that produces them, that this book seeks to illuminate through a detailed case study of the workings of the "development" industry in one country, Lesotho, and in one "development" project.Using an anthropological approach grounded in the work of Foucault, James Ferguson analyzes the institutional framework within which such projects are crafted and the nature of "development discourse," revealing how it is that, despite all the "expertise" that goes into formulating development projects, they nonetheless often demonstrate a startling ignorance of the historical and political realities of the locale they are intended to help. In a close examination of the attempted implementation of the Thaba-Tseka project in Lesotho, Ferguson shows how such a misguided approach plays out, how, in fact, the "development" apparatus in Lesotho acts as an "anti-politics machine," everywhere whisking political realities out of sight and all the while performing, almost unnoticed, its own pre-eminently political operation of strengthening the state presence in the local region.James Ferguson is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of California at Irvine.
At the end of the twentieth century, it becomes ever more clear that Western countries are witnessing the exhaustion of the two great political and economic systems—democratic capitalism and collective state socialism—that have held sway for the past 150 years. Yet neither the traditional Right nor Left has been able to provide viable solutions to this crisis. In this book, Paul Hirst offers a new approach, which he calls associative democracy.
Not simply a utopian idea, associative democracy calls for new forms of economic and social governance as supplements to representative democracy and market economies. It addresses the problems of the overload of big government by democratizing and empowering civil society. It transfers social provision to self-governing voluntary associations, while retaining public funding and political accountability. In the economic sphere, it advocates regional economic regulation through public-private partnerships, the promotion of self-governing industrial districts, and the democratization of the company.
Who determines the fuel standards for our cars? What about whether Plan B, the morning-after pill, is sold at the local pharmacy? Many people assume such important and controversial policy decisions originate in the halls of Congress. But the choreographed actions of Congress and the president account for only a small portion of the laws created in the United States. By some estimates, more than ninety percent of law is created by administrative rules issued by federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services, where unelected bureaucrats with particular policy goals and preferences respond to the incentives created by a complex, procedure-bound rulemaking process.
With Bending the Rules, Rachel Augustine Potter shows that rulemaking is not the rote administrative activity it is commonly imagined to be but rather an intensely political activity in its own right. Because rulemaking occurs in a separation of powers system, bureaucrats are not free to implement their preferred policies unimpeded: the president, Congress, and the courts can all get involved in the process, often at the bidding of affected interest groups. However, rather than capitulating to demands, bureaucrats routinely employ “procedural politicking,” using their deep knowledge of the process to strategically insulate their proposals from political scrutiny and interference. Tracing the rulemaking process from when an agency first begins working on a rule to when it completes that regulatory action, Potter shows how bureaucrats use procedures to resist interference from Congress, the President, and the courts at each stage of the process. This exercise reveals that unelected bureaucrats wield considerable influence over the direction of public policy in the United States.
In Bring Back the Bureaucrats, John J. DiIulio Jr., one of America’s most respected political scientists and an adviser to presidents in both parties, summons the facts and statistics to show us how America’s big government actually works and why reforms that include adding a million more people to the federal workforce by 2035 might actually help to slow government’s growth while improving its performance.
Starting from the underreported reality that the size of the federal workforce hasn’t increased since the early 1960s even though the federal budget has skyrocketed and the number of federal programs has ballooned, Bring Back the Bureaucrats tells us what our elected leaders won’t: there simply are not enough federal workers to do work that’s critical to our democracy.
Government in America, DiIulio reveals, is Leviathan by Proxy, a grotesque form of debt-financed big government that guarantees bad government. Washington relies on state and local governments, for-profit firms, and nonprofit organizations to implement federal policies and programs. Big-city mayors, defense industry contractors, nonprofit executives, and other federal proxies lobby incessantly for more federal spending.
The proxy system chokes on chores such as cleaning up toxic waste sites, caring for hospitalized veterans, collecting taxes, handling plutonium, and policing more than $100 billion annually in “improper payments.” The lack of competent, well-trained federal civil servants resulted in the failed federal response to Hurricane Katrina and the troubled launch of Obamacare's “health exchanges.”
Bring Back the Bureaucrats is further distinguished by the presence of E. J. Dionne Jr. and Charles Murray, two of the most astute voices from the political left and right, respectively, who offer their candid responses to DiIulio at the end of the book.
Thirteen scholars reexamine one of the most provocative and debated models of bureaucratic behavior, as developed by William A. Niskanen in his seminal book, Bureaucracy and Representative Government. The essays evaluate a wide array of findings, both qualitative and quantitative, relevant to the various aspects of the model, and offer conclusions about its merits and limits, suggesting alternative explanations of bureaucratic behavior. Niskanen provides his own reassessment and reflections on the debate.
The rise of the administrative state is the most significant political development in American politics over the past century. While our Constitution separates powers into three branches, and requires that the laws are made by elected representatives in the Congress, today most policies are made by unelected officials in agencies where legislative, executive, and judicial powers are combined. This threatens constitutionalism and the rule of law. This book examines the history of administrative power in America and argues that modern administrative law has failed to protect the principles of American constitutionalism as effectively as earlier approaches to regulation and administration.
Plunging into the verbal quagmire of official language used by bureaucrats in both government and business, distinguished linguist Roger W. Shuy develops new techniques based on linguistic principles to improve their communication with the public.
Shuy presents nine case studies that reveal representative problems with bureaucratic language. He characterizes the traits of bureaucratic language candidly, though somewhat sympathetically, and he describes how linguists can provide bureaucrats with both the tools for communicating more clearly and also the authority to implement these changes.
Drawing on documents cited in class action lawsuits brought against the Social Security Administration and Medicare, Shuy offers a detailed linguistic analysis of these agencies’ problems with written and oral communication, and he outlines a training program he developed for government writers to solve them. Moving on to the private sector, Shuy analyzes examples of the ways that businesses such as car dealerships, real estate and insurance companies, and commercial manufacturers sometimes fail to communicate effectively. Although typically bureaucracies change their use of language only when a lawsuit threatens, Shuy argues that clarity in communication is a cost effective strategy for preventing or at least reducing litigation.
Bureaucratic Language in Government and Business explains why bureaucratic language can be so hard to understand and what can be done about it.
Drawing upon the unique public and private papers of Ting Jih-ch’ang, Governor of Kiangsu, 1868–1870, this work examines the implementation of post-Taiping T’ung-chih Restoration programs in that province. The restoration of local order and rectification of society, judicial administration, fiscal affairs, and personnel problems are described against a background of continuous struggle for dominance in the countryside between local government on the one hand and the local elite on the other.
Jonathan Ocko demonstrates that the declining quality of local officials resulted in an erosion of public capacity, in particular of the government’s fiscal efficiency, and sharpened the moral dilemmas of office holding. Ocko’s close look at the provincial and local levels of administration and at the day-to-day problems faced by Ting Jih-ch’ang illuminates the frustrations and failures of the reform process.
In this work Susan Socolow examines bureaucrats in early modern society by concentrating on those of Buenos Aires under the Bourbon reforms in the late colonial bureaucracy, Socolow studies the individuals who held positions in the colonial civil service—their recruitment, aspirations, job tenure, professional advancement, and economic position.
The late eighteenth century was a critical time for the southernmost regions of Latin America, for in this period they became a separate political entity, the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata. Socolow's work, part of a continuing study of the political, economic, and social elites of the emerging city of Buenos Aires, here considers the bureaucracy put into place by the Bourbon reforms. The author examines the professional and personal circumstances of all bureaucrats, from the high-ranking heads of agencies to the more lowly clerks, contrasting their expectations and their actual experiences. She pays particular attention to their recruitment, promotion, salary, and retirement, as well as their marriage and kinship relationships in the local society.
The bureaucracy in the United States has a hand in almost all aspects of our lives, from the water we drink to the parts in our cars. For a force so influential and pervasive, however, this body of all nonelective government officials remains an enigmatic, impersonal entity.
The literature of bureaucratic theory is rife with contradictions and mysteries. Bureaucrats, Politics, and the Environment attempts to clarify some of these problems.
The authors surveyed the workers at two agencies: enforcement personnel from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and employees of the New Mexico Environment Department. By examining what they think about politics, the environment, their budgets, and the other institutions and agencies with which they interact, this work puts a face on the bureaucracy and provides an explanation for its actions.
Blending political, historical, and sociological analysis, Bernard S. Silberman offers a provocative explanation for the bureaucratic development of the modern state. The study of modern state bureaucracy has its origins in Max Weber's analysis of the modes of social domination, which Silberman takes as his starting point.
Whereas Weber contends that the administration of all modern nation-states would eventually converge in one form characterized by rationality and legal authority, Silberman argues that the process of bureaucratic rationalization took, in fact, two courses. One path is characterized by permeable organizational boundaries and the allocation of information by "professionals." The other features well-defined boundaries and the allocation of information by organizational rules. Through case studies of France, Japan, the United States, and Great Britain, Silberman demonstrates that this divergence stems from differences in leadership structure and in levels of uncertainty about leadership succession in the nineteenth century.
Silberman concludes that the rise of bureacratic rationality was primarily a response to political problems rather than social and economic concerns. Cages of Reason demonstrates how rationalization can have occurred over a wide range of cultures at various levels of economic development. It will be of considerable interest to readers in a number of disciplines: political science, sociology, history, and public administration.
"Silberman has produced an invaluable, densely packed work that those with deep knowledge of public administrative development will find extremely rewarding." —David H. Rosenbloom, American Political Science Review
"An erudite, incisive, and vibrant book, the product of intensive study and careful reflection. Given its innovative theoretical framework and the wealth of historical materials contained in it, this study will generate debate and stimulate research in sociology, political science, and organizational theory. It is undoubtedly the best book on the comparative evolution of the modern state published in the last decade."—Mauro F. Guillen, Contemporary Sociology
Replete with practical advice for anyone considering a career in federal, state, or local government, Caught between the Dog and the Fireplug, or How to Survive Public Service conveys what life is really like in a public service job. The book is written as a series of lively, entertaining letters of advice from a sympathetic uncle to a niece or nephew embarking on a government career.
Kenneth Ashworth draws on more than forty years of public sector experience to provide advice on the daily challenges that future public servants can expect to face: working with politicians, bureaucracy, and the press; dealing with unpleasant and difficult people; leading supervisors as well as subordinates; and maintaining high ethical standards. Ashworth relates anecdotes from his jobs in Texas, California, and Washington, D.C., that illustrate with humor and wit fundamental concepts of public administration.
Be prepared, says Ashworth, to encounter all sorts of unexpected situations, from the hostile to the bizarre, from the intimidating to the outrageous. He shows that in the confrontational world of public policymaking and program implementation, a successful career demands disciplined, informed thought, intellectual and personal growth, and broad reading. He demonstrates how, despite the inevitable inefficiencies of a democratic society, those working to shape policy in large organizations can nonetheless effect significant change-and even have fun along the way.
The book will interest students and teachers of public administration, public affairs, policy development, leadership, or higher education administration. Ashworth's advice will also appeal to anyone who has ever been caught in a tight spot while working in government service.
The comparative study of public policy once promised to make major contributions to our understanding of government. Much of that promise now appears unfulfilled. What accounts for this decline in intellectual fortunes and change in intellectual fashion? Comparing Public Bureaucracies seeks to understand why. One of the principal answers is that there is no readily accepted and dependent variable that would allow comparative public administration to conform to the usual canons of social research. In contrast, comparative public policy has a ready-made dependent variable in public expenditure.
Peters discusses four possible dependent variables for comparative public administration. The first is personnel—the number and type of people who work for government. Second, the number and type of organizations that form government can suggest a great deal about the structure of government. Third, the behavior of members is obviously important for understanding what actually happens in government—such as the extents to which bureaucracies approximate the budget-maximizing behavior posited by economists. Ginally, the relative power of civil servants in the policymaking process is a major factor in institutional politics in contemporary industrial societies.
Congressional supervision of the way the executive implements legislative mandates-“oversight” of the bureaucracy-is one of the most complex and least understood functions of Congress. In this book, Morris Ogul clarifies the meaning of oversight and analyzes the elements that contribute to its success or neglect.
Ogul's work is based on case studies from nearly one hundred interviews with congressmen, committee staff members, lobbyists, and members of the executive branch., as well as an examination of relevant congressional documents.
In this illuminating and provocative study, Stillman provides a new understanding of the foundation of the American state.
Whether renewing a driver's license, traveling on an airplane, or just watching in fascination as a robot probes Mars, we all participate in the everyday workings of the modern administrative state. As Stillman demonstrates in this study, however, we have not, until now, fully investigated or appreciated this administrative stateÕs origins or its evolution into the entity that so affects our lives today.
Stillman reveals that this modern enterprise emerged from a complex foundation of ideas and ideals rather than as a result of a simple, rational plan or cataclysmic event, as previously contended. In fact, he finds that the basis for our current administrative state lies in the lives of the seven individuals who, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, invented its various elements.
Stillman also finds that although they lived at different times, these seven founders-George William Curtis, Charles Francis Adams, Jr., Emory Upton, Jane Addams, Frederick W. Taylor, Richard Childs, and Louis Brownlow-had much in common: all were products of intensely Protestant, small-town America, and all were motivated by strong moral idealism. Indeed, Stillman finds that state making in the United States has been a continuation of the Protestant goal to "protest and purify."
Some names are more recognizable than others, but all, through remarkable moral fervor and exceptional leadership skills, invented the administrative practices and procedures so familiar today.
Historians of British colonial rule in India have noted both the place of military might and the imposition of new cultural categories in the making of Empire, but Bhavani Raman, in Document Raj, uncovers a lesser-known story of power: the power of bureaucracy. Drawing on extensive archival research in the files of the East India Company’s administrative offices in Madras, she tells the story of a bureaucracy gone awry in a fever of documentation practices that grew ever more abstract—and the power, both economic and cultural, this created.
In order to assert its legitimacy and value within the British Empire, the East India Company was diligent about record keeping. Raman shows, however, that the sheer volume of their document production allowed colonial managers to subtly but substantively manipulate records for their own ends, increasingly drawing the real and the recorded further apart. While this administrative sleight of hand increased the company’s reach and power within the Empire, it also bolstered profoundly new orientations to language, writing, memory, and pedagogy for the officers and Indian subordinates involved. Immersed in a subterranean world of delinquent scribes, translators, village accountants, and entrepreneurial fixers, Document Raj maps the shifting boundaries of the legible and illegible, the legal and illegitimate, that would usher India into the modern world.
The Enigmatic Academy is a provocative look at the purpose and practice of education in America. Authors Christian Churchill and Gerald Levy use three case studies—a liberal arts college, a boarding school, and a Job Corps center—to illustrate how class, bureaucratic, and secular-religious dimensions of education prepare youth for participation in American foreign and domestic policy at all levels.
The authors describe how schools contribute to the formation of a bureaucratic character; how middle and upper class students are trained for leadership positions in corporations, government, and the military; and how the education of lower class students often serves more powerful classes and institutions.
Exploring how youth and their educators encounter the complexities of ideology and bureaucracy in school, The Enigmatic Academy deepens our understanding of the flawed redemptive relationship between education and society in the United States. Paradoxically, these three studied schools all prepare students to participate in a society whose values they oppose.
Bottom-up case studies, drawn from the perspective of ordinary Africans’ experiences with state bureaucracies, structures, and services, reveal how citizens and states define each other.
This volume examines contemporary citizens’ everyday encounters with the state and democratic processes in Africa. The contributions reveal the intricate and complex ways in which quotidian activities and experiences—from getting an identification card (genuine or fake) to sourcing black-market commodities to dealing with unreliable waste collection—both (re)produce and (re)constitute the state and democracy. This approach from below lends gravity to the mundane and recognizes the value of conceiving state governance not in terms of its stated promises and aspirations but rather in accordance with how people experience it.
Both new and established scholars based in Africa, Europe, and North America cover a wide range of examples from across the continent, including
bureaucratic machinery in South Sudan, Nigeria, and Kenya
infrastructure and shortages in Chad and Nigeria
disciplinarity, subjectivity, and violence in Rwanda, South Africa, and Nigeria
the social life of democracy in the Congo, Cameroon, and Mozambique
education, welfare, and health in Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burkina Faso
Everyday State and Democracy in Africa demonstrates that ordinary citizens’ encounters with state agencies and institutions define the meanings, discourses, practices, and significance of democratic life, as well its distressing realities.
The call to "reinvent government"—to reform the government bureaucracy of the United States—resonates as loudly from elected officials as from the public. Examining the political and economic forces that have shaped the American civil service system from its beginnings in 1883 through today, the authors of this volume explain why, despite attempts at an overhaul, significant change in the bureaucracy remains a formidable challenge.
There are currently a record-setting number of forcibly displaced persons in the world. This number continues to rise as solutions to alleviate humanitarian catastrophes of large-scale violence and displacement continue to fail. The likelihood of the displaced returning to their homes is becoming increasingly unlikely. In many cases, their homes have been destroyed as the result of violence. Why are the homes of certain populations targeted for destruction? What are the impacts of loss of home upon children, adults, families, communities, and societies? If having a home is a fundamental human right, then why is the destruction of home not viewed as a rights violation and punished accordingly? From Bureaucracy to Bullets answers these questions and more by focusing on the violent practice of extreme domicide, or the intentional destruction of the home, as a central and overlooked human rights issue.
Marred by political tumult and violent conflict since the early twentieth century, Gaza has been subject to a multiplicity of rulers. Still not part of a sovereign state, it would seem too exceptional to be a revealing site for a study of government. Ilana Feldman proves otherwise. She demonstrates that a focus on the Gaza Strip uncovers a great deal about how government actually works, not only in that small geographical space but more generally. Gaza’s experience shows how important bureaucracy is for the survival of government. Feldman analyzes civil service in Gaza under the British Mandate (1917–48) and the Egyptian Administration (1948–67). In the process, she sheds light on how governing authority is produced and reproduced; how government persists, even under conditions that seem untenable; and how government affects and is affected by the people and places it governs.
Drawing on archival research in Gaza, Cairo, Jerusalem, and London, as well as two years of ethnographic research with retired civil servants in Gaza, Feldman identifies two distinct, and in some ways contradictory, governing practices. She illuminates mechanisms of “reiterative authority” derived from the minutiae of daily bureaucratic practice, such as the repetitions of filing procedures, the accumulation of documents, and the habits of civil servants. Looking at the provision of services, she highlights the practice of “tactical government,” a deliberately restricted mode of rule that makes limited claims about governmental capacity, shifting in response to crisis and operating without long-term planning. This practice made it possible for government to proceed without claiming legitimacy: by holding the question of legitimacy in abeyance. Feldman shows that Gaza’s governments were able to manage under, though not to control, the difficult conditions in Gaza by deploying both the regularity of everyday bureaucracy and the exceptionality of tactical practice.
Focusing on the creation and misuse of government documents in Vietnam since the 1920s, The Government of Mistrust reveals how profoundly the dynamics of bureaucracy have affected Vietnamese efforts to build a socialist society. In examining the flurries of paperwork and directives that moved back and forth between high- and low-level officials, Ken MacLean underscores a paradox: in trying to gather accurate information about the realities of life in rural areas, and thus better govern from Hanoi, the Vietnamese central government employed strategies that actually made the state increasingly illegible to itself.
MacLean exposes a falsified world existing largely on paper. As high-level officials attempted to execute centralized planning via decrees, procedures, questionnaires, and audits, low-level officials and peasants used their own strategies to solve local problems. To obtain hoped-for aid from the central government, locals overstated their needs and underreported the resources they actually possessed. Higher-ups attempted to re-establish centralized control and legibility by creating yet more bureaucratic procedures. Amidst the resulting mistrust and ambiguity, many low-level officials were able to engage in strategic action and tactical maneuvering that have shaped socialism in Vietnam in surprising ways.
Dedicated to the art of the United States, the Smithsonian American Art Museum contains works by more than 7,000 artists and is widely regarded as an invaluable resource for the study and preservation of the nation's cultural heritage. But as Lois Marie Fink shows in this probing narrative, the history of the museum is hardly one of steady progress. Instead, it reads like a nineteenth-century melodrama, replete with villains and heroes, destruction by fire, dashed hopes, and periods of subsistence survival—all leading eventually to a happy ending. Originating as the art gallery stipulated in the 1846 founding legislation of the Smithsonian, the museum developed within an institution that was essentially controlled by scientists. In its early years, the museum's holdings included a diverse selection of art and artifacts, mostly donated from private collections. Government support varied in response to shifting attitudes of officials and the public toward American art, ranging from avid admiration at the turn of the twentieth century to a tepid response and an almost total withdrawal of funding a generation later in favor of European masterworks. For decades the museum followed scientific organizational principles in exhibitions and collection strategies. Far into the twentieth century, accessions remained tied to nineteenth-century figurative art, reflecting the strength and influence of anthropology and biological sciences at the Smithsonian. A key breakthrough for modern art came in 1964 with the appointment of Smithsonian secretary Dillon Ripley, a scientist who strongly promoted the art side of the institution. With renewed support for expanding the collection and programs, the museum moved in 1968 to its present location in the Patent Office Building. In recounting the history of the museum from 1846 to 1980, Fink unravels the various levels of institutional authority, power, governance, and bureaucracy and shows how people at each level influenced the fortunes of the collection. She also places changing concepts of art and museum practice in the context of national ideals and Washington realities.
Both "bureaucracy" and "bureaucrats" have taken on a pejorative hue over the years, but does the problem lie with those on the "street-level"—those organizations and people the public deals with directly—or is it in how they are managed? Norma Riccucci knows that management matters, and she addresses a critical gap in the understanding of public policy by uniquely focusing on the effects of public management on street-level bureaucrats.
How Management Matters examines not only how but where public management matters in government organizations. Looking at the 1996 welfare reform law (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, or PRWORA), Riccucci examines the law's effectiveness in changing the work functions and behaviors of street-level welfare workers from the role of simply determining eligibility of clients to actually helping their clients find work. She investigates the significant role of these workers in the implementation of welfare reform, the role of public management in changing the system of welfare under the reform law, and management's impact on results—in this case ensuring the delivery of welfare benefits and services to eligible clients.
Over a period of two years, Riccucci traveled specifically to eleven different cities, and from interviews and a large national survey, she gathered quantitative results from cities in such states as New York, Texas, Michigan, and Georgia, that were selected because of their range of policies, administrative structures, and political cultures. General welfare data for all fifty states is included in this rigorous analysis, demonstrating to all with an interest in any field of public administration or public policy that management does indeed matter.
Coping with the practical problems of bureaucracy is hampered by the limited self-conception and the constricted mindsets of mainstream public administration thinking. Modernist public administration theory, although valuable and capable of producing ever more remarkable results, is limiting as an explanatory and catalytic force in resolving fundamental problems about the nature, size, scope, and functioning of public bureaucracy and in transforming public bureaucracy into a more positive force.
This original study specifies a reflexive language paradigm for public administration thinking and shows how a postmodern perspective permits a revolution in the character of thinking about public bureaucracy. The author considers imagination, deconstruction, deterritorialization, and alterity. Farmer's work emphasizes the need for an expansion in the character and scope of public administration's disciplinary concerns and shows clearly how the study and practice of public administration can be reinvigorated.
This volume brings historians of science and social historians together to consider the role of "little tools"--such as tables, reports, questionnaires, dossiers, index cards--in establishing academic and bureaucratic claims to authority and objectivity.
From at least the eighteenth century onward, our science and society have been planned, surveyed, examined, and judged according to particular techniques of collecting and storing knowledge. Recently, the seemingly self-evident nature of these mundane epistemic and administrative tools, as well as the prose in which they are cast, has demanded historical examination.
The essays gathered here, arranged in chronological order by subject from the late seventeenth to the late twentieth century, involve close readings of primary texts and analyses of academic and bureaucratic practices as parts of material culture. The first few essays, on the early modern period, largely point to the existence of a "juridico-theological" framework for establishing authority. Later essays demonstrate the eclipse of the role of authority per se in the modern period and the emergence of the notion of "objectivity."
Most of the essays here concern the German cultural space as among the best exemplars of the academic and bureaucratic practices described above. The introduction to the volume, however, is framed at a general level; the closing essays also extend the analyses beyond Germany to broader considerations on authority and objectivity in historical practice.
The volume will interest scholars of European history and German studies as well as historians of science.
Peter Becker is Professor of Central European History, European University Institute. William Clark is Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University.
In Lost Modernities Alexander Woodside offers a probing revisionist overview of the bureaucratic politics of preindustrial China, Vietnam, and Korea. He focuses on the political and administrative theory of the three mandarinates and their long experimentation with governments recruited in part through meritocratic civil service examinations remarkable for their transparent procedures.
The quest for merit-based bureaucracy stemmed from the idea that good politics could be established through the "development of people"--the training of people to be politically useful. Centuries before civil service examinations emerged in the Western world, these three Asian countries were basing bureaucratic advancement on examinations in addition to patronage. But the evolution of the mandarinates cannot be accommodated by our usual timetables of what is "modern." The history of China, Vietnam, and Korea suggests that the rationalization processes we think of as modern may occur independently of one another and separate from such landmarks as the growth of capitalism or the industrial revolution.
A sophisticated examination of Asian political traditions, both their achievements and the associated risks, this book removes modernity from a standard Eurocentric understanding and offers a unique new perspective on the transnational nature of Asian history and on global historical time.
Victor A. Thompson University of Alabama Press, 1961 Library of Congress HD31.T49 1977 | Dewey Decimal 658
Modern Organization is a classic text of organization development that addresses the complications that occur in power structures within which workers with specialized skills are managed by superiors without those skills. Thompson is interested in exploring and righting the creative tensions between knowledge and power, demonstrating that within hierarchical structures, the wielders of power often lack not only the technical know-how of their employees but charisma and other attributes that would win the loyalty and confidence of those employees.
Thompson coins the phrase “bureaupathic” behavior to describe the rise in a perceived need for regulations and rituals that result from the insecurity in these structures. This behavior only confounds working life and efficiency. Technical specialization is rapidly advancing, while cultural definitions of authority are not. Authority must be redefined in order to make allowances for its limitations. What once made a leader, namely charisma, may no longer suffice.
Prussia's social and political structure, institutions, and values were in many ways formative for German history after 1871. After unification Prussia accounted for roughly two-thirds of the empire's size and population, but its weight within Germany was even greater because Prussia in large part molded the German identity and shaped Germany's image abroad. The Origins of the Authoritarian Welfare State in Prussia examines this Prussian/German identity. It investigates the complex traditions of ideas, institutions, and social policy measures that lay at the root of the conservative Prussian welfare state. The examination of the ideas and policies of Prussian officials brings out a peculiar welfare state mentality of benevolence and patriarchal concern, pervaded by authoritarian streaks, that was unique in nineteenth-century Europe. In addition, the study analyzes the historiographical implications of the question of continuity and discontinuity in German history. The Origins of the Authoritarian Welfare State in Prussia is of interest to scholars and students of German history as well as to students of governmental social policy and of the workings of a welfare state.
Hermann Beck is Associate Professor of History, University of Miami.
Winner of the 1998 Charles Levine Award for best book on administration and policy
Dunn focuses on two levers of power in modern democracies, the elected party politician and the professional state bureaucrat, using Australia as his example. Dunn uses interviews with Cabinet ministers, members of their staffs, and department heads of two governments in Australia to see how ministers seek to provide political direction to the bureaucracy. He examines the extent to which they succeed and how their direction is both influenced by and acted on by the departments.
Dunn's analysis provides a rare look at high-level relationships between politicians and executive departments in one democratic government and offers insights into issues of accountability and responsibility in democratic governments. His findings, based on his in-depth look at a government that blends many features of both U.S. and British governments, reveal the fundamentals that are necessary to make this key relationship work well and are thus pertinent to public administration in all democracies.
2019 Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award winner
Scholars from a number of disciplines have, especially since the advent of the war on terror, developed critical perspectives on a cluster of related topics in contemporary life: militarization, surveillance, policing, biopolitics (the relation between state power and physical bodies), and the like. James A. Tyner, a geographer who has contributed to this literature with several highly regarded books, here turns to the bureaucratic roots of genocide, building on insight from Hannah Arendt, Zygmunt Bauman, and others to better understand the Khmer Rouge and its implications for the broader study of life, death, and power.
The Politics of Lists analyzes thousands of newly available Cambodian documents both as sources of information and as objects worthy of study in and of themselves. How, Tyner asks, is recordkeeping implicated in the creation of political authority? What is the relationship between violence and bureaucracy? How can documents, as an anonymous technology capable of conveying great force, be understood in relation to newer technologies like drones? What does data create and what does it destroy? Through a theoretically informed, empirically grounded study of the Khmer Rouge security apparatus, Tyner shows that lists and telegrams have often proved as deadly as bullet and bombs.
The bureaucracy is the fourth branch of government, often receiving attention in times of emergency or when it is the object of criticism from the media or politicians. Less understood is how bureaucratic institutions function in a democracy, both from an organizational perspective and as institutional participants within the political arena. Drawing on rational choice approaches, computationally intensive data and modeling techniques, and systematic empirical inquiry, this original collection of essays highlights the important role bureaucracies play in shaping public policy-making. The editors of and contributors to this volume demonstrate not only the constraints political officials face in harnessing the bureaucracy but, more important, how bureaucracies function as organizational entities in diverse contexts.
George A. Krause is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of South Carolina.
Kenneth J. Meier is Charles Puryear Professor of Liberal Arts and Professor of Political Science, Texas A&M University.
Brazil was one of the most successful examples of state-led industrialization in the post-1945 era. Yet, on the surface, the Brazilian bureaucracy appears highly fragmented, personalized, and ad-hoc. Ben Ross Schneider looks behind this façade to explain how the Brazilian bureaucracy contributes to industrialization by analyzing career patterns and appointments which structure incentives and power more than formal organizations or institutions. Politics and personalism, of the right sort, Schneider argues, can in fact enhance policy effectiveness and state capacity.
Averch describes and analyzes common strategies for solving problems in public policy. The strategies discussed include the use of markets, bureaus, regulation, planning and budgeting, benefit-cost, systems analysis, and evaluation. He examines the historical development of each strategy; describes how each strategy would ideally work; explains the necessary or sufficient conditions that permit each strategy to work; lists the potential failures of each strategy; and provides a judgment or appraisal of each strategy.
One of the leading historians of education in the United States here develops a powerful interpretation of the uses of history in educational reform and of the relations among democracy, education, and the capitalist state. Michael Katz discusses the reshaping of American education from three perspectives. First is the perspective of history: How did American education take shape? The second is that of reform: What can a historian say about recent criticisms and proposals for improvement? The third is that of historiography: What drives the politics of educational history? Katz shows how the reconstruction of America’s educational past can be used as a framework for thinking about current reform. Contemporary concepts such as public education, institutional structures such as the multiversity, and modern organizational forms such as bureaucracy all originated as solutions to problems of public policy. The petrifaction of these historical products—which are neither inevitable nor immutable—has become, Katz maintains, one of the mighty obstacles to change.
The book’s central questions are as much ethical and political as they are practical. How do we assess the relative importance of efficiency and responsiveness in educational institutions? Whom do we really want institutions to serve? Are we prepared to alter institutions and policies that contradict fundamental political principles? Why have some reform strategies consistently failed? On what models should institutions be based? Should schools and universities be further assimilated to the marketplace and the state? Katz’s iconoclastic treatment of these issues, vividly and clearly written, will be of interest to both specialists and general readers. Like his earlier classic, The Irony of Early School Reform (1968), this book will set a fresh agenda for debate in the field.
Red Tape presents a major new theory of the state developed by the renowned anthropologist Akhil Gupta. Seeking to understand the chronic and widespread poverty in India, the world's fourth largest economy, Gupta conceives of the relation between the state in India and the poor as one of structural violence. Every year this violence kills between two and three million people, especially women and girls, and lower-caste and indigenous peoples. Yet India's poor are not disenfranchised; they actively participate in the democratic project. Nor is the state indifferent to the plight of the poor; it sponsors many poverty amelioration programs.
Gupta conducted ethnographic research among officials charged with coordinating development programs in rural Uttar Pradesh. Drawing on that research, he offers insightful analyses of corruption; the significance of writing and written records; and governmentality, or the expansion of bureaucracies. Those analyses underlie his argument that care is arbitrary in its consequences, and that arbitrariness is systematically produced by the very mechanisms that are meant to ameliorate social suffering. What must be explained is not only why government programs aimed at providing nutrition, employment, housing, healthcare, and education to poor people do not succeed in their objectives, but also why, when they do succeed, they do so unevenly and erratically.
William Nelson reinterprets nineteenth-century American history as a struggle between majority rule and minority rights. From this fresh point of view, he traces the roots of American bureaucracy.
Nelson analyzes the majority–minority tension form the Jacksonian revolution of strong party rule and majoritarian decisionmaking through the abolitionist crisis, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the rise of industrialism. He shows that ultimately political and legal pluralism emerged to protect minority and individual rights. The instrument of a professional bureaucracy with neutral political standards was fashioned. Personalities as seemingly disparate as Henry Adams, John W. Burgess, Charles W. Eliot, Christopher Columbus Langdell, and Theodore Roosevelt all contributed in an effort to stop the centralizing impact of democracy.
Nelson’s new way of thinking about the period puts into different perspective the actions of the three branches of federal government, its courts and administrative agencies, and even the states. All shifted toward bureaucratic or neutral standards, reliance on experts, and professionalization. Legal thought changed from an instrumental to a formal reasoning style, civil service tamped down partisan politics, and in Congress, seniority and the committee system check democratic tendencies.
Service and Procedures in Bureaucracy was first published in 1956. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Large, complex systems of organization, such as government bureaus, giant corporations, and massive trade unions, play a decisive role in the daily lives of millions of people and exert an important influence upon national and even international affairs. This gives major sociological significance to the bureaucratic organizations of such groups.
The research reported here was undertaken to test two widespread beliefs about modern, largescale organizations, and the findings point to modifications in what has been regarded as the classic sociological concept of bureaucracy.
Does the personnel in bureaucracies commonly substitute rule-following, preoccupation with procedure, for the intended service purpose of the organization? And are bureaucracies characterized by impersonality, that is, detachment of office from individual, so that relations are between offices rather than between individuals? These are the questions the authors sought to answer in their study of the Louisiana Division of Employment Security. They observed employees working at their jobs, conducted interviews, administered questionnaires, and studied the official documents and records of the organization.
Here is a picture of bureaucracy in real life that will provide valuable insight to those actively concerned with administration and personnel problems, as well as to students in the social sciences.
The Swedish Social Democratic Party, the SAP, is the most successful social democratic party in the world. It has led the government for most of the last six decades, participating either alone or as the dominant force in coalition government. The SAP has also worked closely with trade unions that have organized nearly 85 percent of the labor force, the highest rate among the advanced industrial democracies. Rarely has a political party been so dominant or so closely linked to labor movement. Yet Sweden remains very much a capitolist society with economic and social power firmly in the hands of big capitol.
If one wants to know if politics, and most especially if reformist politics, matters - if, that is, political mobilization can change democratic capitolists societies - then Sweden under the Social Democrats is clearly one of the best empirical cases to study.
Bo Rothstein uses the Swedish experience to analyze the limits a social democratic government labors under and the possibilities it enjoys in using the state to implement large-scale social change. He examines closely two SAP programs, one a success and the other a failure, that attempted to change social processes deeply embedded in capitolist society. He ties the outcomes of these programs to the structure of the state and hypothesizes that the outcome depends, to a considerable extent, on how administrative apparatuses responsible for implementing each policy are organized. Rothstein concludes that no matter how wisely a reformist policy is designed nor how strong the political party behind it, if the administrative arrangements are faulty, it will fail at the stage of implementation.
Rothstein convincingly demonstrates that the democratic capitolist countries of the world have important lessons to learn from the Swedish experience regarding the possibilities for political reform. Political scientists and political reformers alike can learn much from Rothstein’s deep knowledge of Swedish government and his innovative model for analyzing political reform in social democratic societies.
Herzfeld argues that "modern" bureaucratically regulated societies are no more "rational" or less "symbolic" than the societies traditionally studied by anthropologists. He suggests that we cannot understand national bureaucracies divorced from local-level ideas about chance, personal character, social relationships and responsibility.
"Herzfeld's book is extremely ambitious and will be of interest to any anthropologist concerned with the study of bureaucracy, organizational and institutional control, symbols and their power, and social conflict. . . . Thoughtful and challenging."—Helen B. Schwartzman, American Ethnologist
Midway through the reign of the Ch’ien-lung emperor, Hungli, in the most prosperous period of China’s last imperial dynasty, mass hysteria broke out among the common people. It was feared that sorcerers were roaming the land, clipping off the ends of men’s queues (the braids worn by royal decree), and chanting magical incantations over them in order to steal the souls of their owners. In a fascinating chronicle of this epidemic of fear and the official prosecution of soulstealers that ensued, Philip Kuhn provides an intimate glimpse into the world of eighteenth-century China.
Kuhn weaves his exploration of the sorcery cases with a survey of the social and economic history of the era. Drawing on a rich repository of documents found in the imperial archives, he presents in detail the harrowing interrogations of the accused—a ragtag assortment of vagabonds, beggars, and roving clergy—conducted under torture by provincial magistrates. In tracing the panic’s spread from peasant hut to imperial court, Kuhn unmasks the political menace lurking behind the queue-clipping scare as well as the complex of folk beliefs that lay beneath popular fears of sorcery.
Kuhn shows how the campaign against sorcery provides insight into the period’s social structure and ethnic tensions, the relationship between monarch and bureaucrat, and the inner workings of the state. Whatever its intended purposes, the author argues, the campaign offered Hungli a splendid chance to force his provincial chiefs to crack down on local officials, to reinforce his personal supremacy over top bureaucrats, and to restate the norms of official behavior.
This wide-ranging narrative depicts life in imperial China as it was actually lived, often in the participants’ own words. Soulstealers offers a compelling portrait of the Chinese people—from peasant to emperor—and of the human condition.
Based on the case of Kyrgyzstan, while going well beyond it to elaborate a theory of the developing state that comprehends corruption as not merely criminal, but a type of market based on highly rational decisions made by the powerful individuals within, or connected to, the state.
An innovative contribution to political theory, State Work examines the labor of government workers in North America. Arguing that this work needs to be theorized precisely because it is vital to the creation and persistence of the state, Stefano Harney draws on thinking from public administration and organizational sociology, as well as poststructuralist theory and performance studies, to launch a cultural studies of the state. Countering conceptions of the government and its employees as remote and inflexible, Harney uses the theory of mass intellectuality developed by Italian worker-theorists to illuminate the potential for genuine political progress inherent within state work. State Work begins with an ethnographic account of Harney’s work as a midlevel manager within an Ontario government initiative charged with leading the province’s efforts to combat racism. Through readings of material such as The X-Files and Law & Order, Harney then reviews how popular images of the state and government labor are formed within American culture and how these ideas shape everyday life. He highlights the mutually dependent roles played in state work by the citizenry and civil servants. Using as case studies Al Gore’s National Partnership for Reinventing Government and a community-policing project in New York City, Harney also critiques public management literature and performance measurement theories. He concludes his study with a look at the motivations of state workers.
One of the central questions of political science has been whether politicians control the bureaucracy, or whether the bureaucracy possesses independent authority from democratic institutions of government. Relying on advanced statistical techniques and case studies, George Krause argues instead for a dynamic system of influence—one allowing for two-way interaction among the president, congress, and bureaucratic agencies. Krause argues that politicians and those responsible for implementing policy respond not only to each other, but also to events and conditions within each government institution as well as to the larger policy environment. His analysis and conclusions will challenge conventional theoretical and empirical wisdom in the field of administrative politics and public bureaucracy.
In imperial China, workers drawn from the local populace performed many of the basic functions of local administration. Standing between the rulers and the ruled, these men mediated in both directions. McKnight's study concentrates on the nature of this village-level subbureaucratic activity in the Sung period; it sheds new light on the emergence of early Chinese society while providing a background against which to assess social changes during later dynasties.
Bureaucrats perform most of the tasks of government, profoundly influencing the daily lives of Americans. But who, or what, controls what bureaucrats do?
John Brehm and Scott Gates examine who influences whether federal, state, and local bureaucrats work, shirk, or sabotage policy. The authors combine deductive models and computer simulations of bureaucratic behavior with statistical analysis in order to assess the competing influences over how bureaucrats expend their efforts. Drawing upon surveys, observational studies, and administrative records of the performance of public employees in a variety of settings, Brehm and Gates demonstrate that the reasons bureaucrats work as hard as they do include the nature of the jobs they are recruited to perform and the influence of both their fellow employees and their clients in the public. In contrast to the conclusions of principal-agency models, the authors show that the reasons bureaucrats work so hard have little to do with the coercive capacities of supervisors.
This book is aimed at students of bureaucracy and organizations and will be of interest to researchers in political science, economics, public policy, and sociology.
"This book is breathtaking in its use of models and techniques. . . . The approach developed by Brehm and Gates allows us to re-open empirical questions that have lain dormant for years." --Bryan D. Jones, University of Washington
John Brehm is Associate Professor of Political Science, Duke University. Scott Gates is Associate Professor of Political Science, Michigan State University.