Chapter 13: Bureaucracy


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  • Figure 13.1: Bureaucrats at Work
    The size of the cabinet departments varies dramatically. That more than 1 million civilians are employed in the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs is a reflection of the centrality of national security and war in recent American history. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the tiny Department of Education, with fewer than five thousand employees, despite the common rhetoric about the need to improve education.
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, The 2012 Statistical Abstract, Table 499: Federal Civilian employment by Branch and Agency, available at
  • Figure 13.2: Good Jobs, Good Benefits
    Despite tight budgets, jobs in the federal government maintain good pay and benefits. In this figure, those jobs listed below the 100 percent line, the one employed in the private sector will receive higher pay.
    Source: Reprinted by permission of the publisher from The Warping of Government Work by John D. Donahue, p.47, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, Copyright © 2008 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.
  • Tarmac Hell
    Flying these days has its share of challenges, but government regulation has resulted in some modest improvements. The airlines’ practice of keeping passengers on their plane on the tarmac while waiting for bad weather to clear is now subject to restrictions. If an airline keeps a plane on the tarmac for more than three hours, it is subject to a heavy fine.
    Rolf Adlercreutz/Alamy
  • L.A. Story
    No city is more identified with air pollution than Los Angeles (pictured
    here in 1993). Over the years, different levels of government have
    cooperated in developing various approaches to improving the quality
    of air in the L.A. area. Implementation of these policies has been
    complex, but while there’s still pollution in Los Angeles, there is progress
    and the air is cleaner than it was when this picture was taken.
    © Steve Starr/Corbis
  • Bureaucratic Heroine
    The government recognized Dr. Frances Kelsey’s courageous work to
    keep thalidomide off the American market with the President’s Award
    for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service. The medal is being affixed
    here by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. In 2010, the Food and
    Drug Administration awarded its first annual Frances Kelsey Award to
    honor a staff member of the agency. Its first recipient: ninety-eight-year old
    Dr. Frances Kelsey.
    © Bettman/Corbis
  • Figure 13.3 It Makes a Difference
    Control over the White House makes an enormous difference in the way regulartory agencies perform their duties. With Democrat Barack Obama in the White House, agencies followed his lead and moved aggressively on health and safety issues. Under President George W. Bush, agencies relied more on the free market to solve policy problems.
    Source: Eric Lipton, “With Obama Regulations Are Back in Fashion,” New York Times, 23 May 2010.
    © Copyright 2010 Nate Beeler – All Rights Reserved.
  • Figure 13.4: Meeting Performance Standards a Problem? Just Lower Them
    Scholl districts across the country have had trouble meeting performance standards designed to push individual schools to change priorities and revise their curricula. As a result, many states have simply lowered their standards so that more school districts in the state meet the requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act.
    Source: John Hechninger, “Some states Drop Testing Bar,” Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2009. Reprinted by permission of Wall Street Journal, copyright © 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
  • Chapter 13: Bureaucracy

    1. 1. Chapter 13Chapter 13 THETHE BUREAUCRACYBUREAUCRACY
    2. 2. Learning Outcomes 13.1 Define the concept of bureaucracy, explain the role of organizations on the administration of the nation’s laws, examine the reasons for the growth of the bureaucratic state, and assess arguments for and against its continued expansion. 13.2 Describe the organization of the executive branch, the role of the civil service, and the bureaucracy’s responsiveness to presidential control. Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 2
    3. 3. Learning Outcomes 13.3 Describe the roles of administrative discretion and rule-making authority in the execution of administrative policymaking. 13.4 Analyze how incrementalism and bureaucratic culture affect policymaking. 13.5 Identify obstacles to effective policy implementation. 13.6 Compare the strengths and weaknesses of reform efforts aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the bureaucracy’s performance. Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 3
    4. 4. Organization Matters  Bureaucracies play central role in governments of modern society  Reflects need to survive  Environment filled with conflicting political demands and hostility  Organized based on political demands and needs of its clients; organization affects how well it can accomplish tasks Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 4
    5. 5. Organization Matters  The Development of the Bureaucratic State  American Government: enormous growth at all levels during 20th century  Principal causes: increasing complexity of society, public’s attitude toward business and social welfare changed Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 5
    6. 6. Organization Matters  Can We Reduce the Size of Government?  Many Americans lack confidence in government  Ideological differences between parties and national budget deficit have shaped debate  Reagan – modestly successful at reducing government  Bush – worked to enlarge government: 9/11, drugs for seniors  Obama – expanded government: health care, financial services oversight  Budget cuts require reductions in programs Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 6
    7. 7. Bureaus and Bureaucrats  The Organization of Government  Bureaucracy in Washington: disjointed collection of smaller bureaucracies  Departments  Independent agencies  Regulatory commissions  Government corporations  U.S. Postal Service Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 7
    8. 8. Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 8 Figure 13.1 Bureaucrats at Work
    9. 9. Bureaus and Bureaucrats  The Civil Service  National bureaucracy  2.8 million civilian employees  Account for less than 2 percent of U.S. work force  Pendleton Act (1883) designed to reduce patronage with hiring based on merit Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 9
    10. 10. Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 10 Figure 13.2: Good Jobs, Good Benefits
    11. 11. Bureaus and Bureaucrats  Presidential Control over the Bureaucracy  Civil service and other reforms insulate government workers from party politics  President appoints only 3,000 people, 1 percent of all executive branch employees  Pluralism can pull agencies in directions contrary to president’s wishes  Presidents still have considerable influence over agency policymaking  Appoint administrators sympathetic to their policy goals  Review policymaking to ensure in line with preferences Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 11
    12. 12. Administrative Policymaking: The Formal Processes  Administrative Discretion  The latitude that Congress gives agencies to make policy in the spirit of their legislative mandate  Broadest discretion is in domestic and global security  Rule Making  Guides the issuance of regulations, which are authorized by congressional statutes Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 12
    13. 13. Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 13 Tarmac Hell
    14. 14. Administrative Policymaking: Informal Policies  The Science of Muddling Through  Way policy might be made in ideal world vs. way it is formulated in the real world  Rational-comprehensive model unrealistic  Real-world decision making parts company with ideal  Policymaking can never be based on truly comprehensive analyses Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 14
    15. 15. Administrative Policymaking: Informal Policies  The Culture of Bureaucracy  Bureaucrats – inflexible and lack authority to get things done  Norms guide individual behavior  Influenced by prevailing customs, attitudes and expectations of people working with them  Sense of mission affects decisions about agency objectives  Flexibility limited by legal requirements and need to treat everyone equally Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 15
    16. 16. Problems in Implementing Policy  Implementation may be difficult  Policy not clearly stated  Directives lack clarity, leave too much discretion  Complexity of public policy problems  Incremental process – trial and error Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 16 Pollution in Los Angeles
    17. 17. Reforming the Bureaucracy: More Control or Less?  Deregulation  Popular with conservatives  Difficult with health and safety issues  Industry claim regulations burdensome and reduce profits  FDA: Drug licensing procedures illustrate dangers  Some agencies allow companies flexibility in how to meet standards  EPA: Pollution cap  Increased transparency and accountability Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 17
    18. 18. Bureaucratic Heroine Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 18
    19. 19. Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 19 Figure 13.3 It Makes a Difference
    20. 20. Reforming the Bureaucracy: More Control or Less?  Competition and Outsourcing  Conservatives want government to act like businesses  Emulate private sector practices  Recent reformers advocate privatization  Movement towards competition and outsourcing continues to grow Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 20
    21. 21. Reforming the Bureaucracy: More Control or Less?  Performance Standards  Holding agencies accountable for reaching quantifiable goals each year or budget cycle  Government Performance and Results Act  No Child Left Behind  States allowed to implement their way Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 21
    22. 22. Copyright 2014 Cengage Learning 22 Figure 13.4: Meeting Performance Standards a Problem? Just Lower Them