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Theories of bureaucratic politics ppt


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It is probably fair to say that public administration scholarship has been more successful in demonstrating the need for theories of bureaucratic politics than in actually producing those frameworks. It has been more than half a century since scholars such as Waldo and Gaus exposed the rickety foundations of the politics administration dichotomy and made a convincing brief that administrative theory had to share common ground with political theory.

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Theories of bureaucratic politics ppt

  1. 1. Theories ofBureaucratic Politics Submitted By : 3rd GroupM Edward Kairupan 125030100111119Tomi
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION: WHAT ARE THEORIES OF BUREAUCRATIC POLITICS?O Theories of bureaucratic politics seek to explain the policymaking role of administration and bureaucracy. Such frameworks typically reject the politics- administration dichotomy underpinning theories of bureaucratic control, viewing this division as an analytical convenience that imposes too steep a cost on theoretical development.
  3. 3. O Since bureaucracies and bureaucrats routinely engage in political behavior, the need to account theoretically for the bureaucracy‟s political role is justified. Politics is generically defined as the authoritative allocation of values, or the process of deciding “who gets what, when and how”O Accordingly, theories of bureaucratic politics seek to breach the orthodox divide between administration and politics and attempt to drag the former into a systematic accounting with the latter.O If bureaucracies were helping to determine the will of the state, they were inescapably political institutions, and Gaus argued that administrative theory ignored this fact at its peril. Most famously, in the final sentence of an essay in Public Administration Review , he threw down an implied gauntlet to those who would fashion a theory of administration: “A theory of public administration means in our time a theory of politics also”
  4. 4. O The goal is not to locate the dividing line between politics and administration because no such line exists, nor is it to ascertain how bureaucracies can be made accountable to their democratic masters, although this is a question of some importance to theories of bureaucratic politics. Questions of political power are the central focus: O To what extent do administrative processes, as opposed to democratic processes, determine public policy? O Who controls or influences the exercise of bureaucratic power? O What is the role of bureaucracy in representing and advancing the goals of particular clientele groups or organized interests? O To what extent do elective institutions and elected officials seek to shape and control administration as a means to advance their own political interests? O What is the source of bureaucratic power? O How does the important political role of nonelected institutions based in hierarchy and authority square with the fundamental values of democracy?
  5. 5. ADMINISTRATIVE THEORY AS POLITICAL THEORYO Waldo did not construct a theory of bureaucratic politics in this book, but here and in later writings he made two critical contributions that have supported all subsequent efforts to do so.O First, he undertook a devastating critique of the extant research literature. He argued that public administration scholarship revolved around a core set of beliefs that cumulatively served to constrain theoretical development. Key among these were the beliefs that efficiency and democracy were compatible and that the work of government could be cleanly divided into separate realms of decision and execution
  6. 6. O Second, and probably more important, Waldo argued that administrative scholarship was itself driven by a particular philosophy of politics. A good portion of The Administrative State is devoted to examining the scholarly public administration literature through the lens of five key issues in political philosophy: ( the nature of the Good Life, or a ) vision of what the “good society” should look like; ( the ) criteria of action, or the procedures for determining how collective decisions should be made; ( the question of who ) should rule; ( the question of how the powers of the state ) should be divided and apportioned; and ( the question of ) centralization versus decentralization, or the relative merits of a unitary state versus a federal system.O If administration scholarship advanced such a distinct and definable political philosophy (some might say ideology), it raised an immediate and formidable intellectual obstacle to attempts at conceptually dividing politics and administration:How could students of administration claim that politics was largely external to their interests when their intellectual history revealed such a systematic value based philosophy of government?
  7. 7. O Waldo argued that administrative scholarship‟s failure to incorporate politics explicitly into its theoretical development was a product of its early cultural and intellectual environmentO Yet, as administration scholars accepted efficiency as their central principle, they also accepted democracy— a notoriously inefficient basis of organization—as the central principle of the American political system. This presented a problem in developing administrative theory. The formative era of administrative scholarship, with its focus on the scientific method, its guiding principle of efficiency, and its position in the shadow of business, meant that it developed in a decidedly undemocratic context.O By separating the work of government into two distinct operations and limiting their attention to the “nonpolitical” element, administration scholars were free to push for centralized power in the executive
  8. 8. O branch, to prescribe hierarchical and authoritarian bureaucracies as the basis for organizing public agencies, and to call for passing greater responsibilities to the technocratO Waldo argued that at the heart of the problem with administrative theory is a version of the problem James Madison struggled with in FederalistO How do we construct a theory that accommodates the hierarchical and authoritarian nature of the bureaucracy, the foundation of the modern administrative state and a seemingly necessary component of contemporary government, with the seemingly contradictory egalitarian, inefficient ideals of democracy?
  9. 9. ALLISON’S PARADIGM OF BUREAUCRATIC POLITICSO In the two decades following the publication of The Administrative State (Waldo an embryonic ), theory of bureaucratic politics began to emerge from a series of studies examining decision making in the executive branch. The significant claim generated by these studies was that government decisions were products of bargaining and negotiation among interested political actorO These studies were discursive rather than explicitly theoretical, but the parallels them and the contemporary work on game theory—a highly formalized and mathematical approach to explaining behavior—are unmistakable.
  10. 10. O The first serious comprehensive attempt to produce such a framework was undertaken by Graham Allison in his book Essence of Decision (and further refined by Allison ), and Morton Halperin (Allison‟s immediate focus in ). Essence of Decision was explaining why the governments of the United States and the Soviet Union did what they did during the Cuban missile crisis. With a nuclear exchange at stake, these were policies of particular importance, but Allison was aiming well beyond the confines of one case study. Essentially, he posed a broad question that cut to the heart of bureaucratic politics: Why do governments do what they do? In other words, how is policy made, and who determines or influences it? To provide general answers to these questionsO Allison articulated three theoretical models The first was the rational actor model (what Allison termed “Model I,” or the classical model). Model I proposes that government decisions can be understood by viewing them as the product of a single actor in strategic pursuit of his own self-interest
  11. 11. O The second model is the organizational process paradigm, or Model II, which argues that numerous actors are involved in decisionmaking, and decisionmaking processes are highly structured through standard operating procedures (SOPs).O Model III, or the bureaucratic politics paradigm, explains government actions as the product of bargaining and compromise among the various organizational elements of the executive branch. Allison‟s model of bureaucratic politics is constructed from four basic propositions.O Model III, or the bureaucratic politics paradigm, explains government actions as the product of bargaining and compromise among the various organizational elements of the executive branch. Allison‟s model of bureaucratic politics is constructed from four basic propositions.O Allison‟s model of bureaucratic politics has had a significant impact on how bureaucracies are studied. It was not just a series of propositions formulated to explain one study, but rather a workable theory for understanding the policymaking role of bureaucracy.
  12. 12. POLITICS, POWER, AND ORGANIZATIONO In particular, Allison‟s framework left important organizational issue underdeveloped, and, like the majority of the studies the framework sought to synthesize, it was almost exclusively focused on the executive branch.O There are two key organizational dimensions to bureaucratic politics theory. The first deals with behavior. The primary goal here is to explain why bureaucrats and bureaucracies do what they do
  13. 13. O The second deals with institutional structure and the distribution of power. The primary goal here is to understand how a bureaucracy‟s formal lines of authority, its relationship to other institutions, and the programs and policies placed within its jurisdiction all combine to determine the relative political influence of a broad range of political actors.O One of the key contributions of organizational behavior scholarship to bureaucratic politics theory is James Q. Wilson‟s classic, Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It (Wilson ). posed a similar question to Allison, though it was more focused toward administrative matters. Instead of asking why governments do what they do, Wilson asked why bureaucracies do what they do.O As goals are vague (or even contradictory), bureaucracies cannot simply deploy their expertise to determine the best way of achieving the ends of policy. Something other than the product of the “politics” end of the politics-administration dichotomy must drive the behavior of bureaucrats and bureaucracies. What is it? What determines the behavior of the cop on the beat, the teacher in the classroom, the private on the front lines? Wilson proposed several potential answers: situational imperatives (the day-to-day events operators must to respond to), peer expectations, professional values, and ideology. He also argued that rules could also substitute for goals.
  14. 14. O Wilson was not just interested in identifying the behavioral motivations of operators; he also identified two other kinds of bureaucrats: managers (people who coordinate the work of operators to achieve organizational goals) and executives (people responsible for maintaining their organizations)O Government organization, or, more accurately, reorganization, is a subject near and dear to the discipline of public administration and a perennial feature of American politics.O The bureaucracy is politically important not only to the president and to Congress but also to a broad range of organized interests. Seidman pointed out that the public bureaucracy has a parallel private bureaucracy— businesses that perform contract work for the government—heavily invested in the status quo. Contracting with a private firm to perform various public functions has its advantages. Private companies
  15. 15. NETWORKS AND BUREAUCRATIC POLITICSO This fact that bureaucratic politics extends beyond the bureaucracy itself was highlighted by Laurence O‟Toole ( in his admonition to take b) networks seriously For public administration, networks can be thought of as a set of organizations that are interdependent, that is, they share goals, interests, resources, or values. for politics and governance (O‟Toole and Meier  )O The need to understand a networked bureaucracy is obvious, but it is unclear if we have made much theoretical headway since the mid- Mosts. literature has focused on how to manage networked systems, rather than on implications
  16. 16. O Given the explosive growth of networked administration and its poorly understood implications for public policy and effect on democratic values, there can hardly be a better example of the practical and critical need for theory development, not just in the realm of bureaucratic politics, but also in the general field of public administration.O Power is really at stake in reorganization, and this is the reason the president, Congress, and other political actors take such an intense interest in administration. Reorganization has become such a perennial part of politics that it is increasingly pursued for its own sake— a political objective with no underlying administrative strategy whatsoever.O Although Seidman‟s work and Wilson‟s work are discursive rather than theoretical, more explicitly theoretical efforts from organization literature seek to explain at least some elements of the political behavior bureaucracies indulge in. John Kingdon‟s Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies
  17. 17. REPRESENTATIVE BUREAUCRACYO The theory of representative bureaucracy is perhaps the most explicit attempt to address the central problem of democratic administrative theory raised by Waldo ( ,  How can a theory that ): embraces the hierarchical and authoritarian nature of bureaucracy be reconciled with the seemingly contradictory egalitarian and ultimately inefficient values of democracy?
  18. 18. O This contradiction between bureaucracies making policy and basic democratic values raises one of the most important challenges for public administration theory: “How does one square a permanent [and, we would add, powerful] civil service—which neither the people by their vote nor their representatives by their appointments can readily replace—with the principle of government „by the people‟?” (Mosher  ). Any, democratic theory of administration, Waldo suggested, must be capable of answering this question.O The theory of representative bureaucracy focuses on finding a way to legitimate the bureaucracy‟s political power in the context of democratic values. The central tenet of the theory is that a bureaucracy reflecting the diversity of the community it serves is more likely to respond to the interests of all groups in making policy decisions
  19. 19. O The notion of legitimating bureaucratic power by treating bureaucracy as a representative institution was formally introduced by J. Donald Kingsley in Repesentative BureaucracyO Kenneth Meier puts it, “The theory of representative bureaucracy begins by recognizing the realities of politics. In a complex polity such as the United States, not all aspects of policy decisions are resolved in the „political‟ branches of government”O Generally, it is assumed that bureaucrats are rational actors in the sense that they pursue self- interested goals when faced with discretionary choices. Proponents of representative bureaucracy argue that the goals driving behavior are supplied by the individual values of the decisionmaker
  20. 20. O In the United States, Samuel Krislov ( ) argued that a more appropriate basis of comparison is race, ethnicity, and sex. These factors are assumed to be a key source of socialization, and thus of values. A large portion of empirical research on representative bureaucracy in the United States is thus devoted to examining the extent to which bureaucracy reflects the basic demographic composition of society.O The key to representative bureaucracy‟s attempt to build a bridge between orthodox public administration theory and democratic theory thus still rests to no small extent on the ability of future empirical studies to support the theory‟s central hypothesis that passive representation will lead to active representation
  21. 21. CONCLUSIONO It is probably fair to say that public administration scholarship has been more successful in demonstrating the need for theories of bureaucratic politics than in actually producing those frameworks. It has been more than half a century since scholars such as Waldo and Gaus exposed the rickety foundations of the politics administration dichotomy and made a convincing brief that administrative theory had to share common ground with political theory.
  22. 22. O Allison‟s Model III and the theory of representative bureaucracy represent two of the better known and most widely employed bureaucratic politics frameworks. Although it is hard to underestimate Allison‟s contribution, it clearly falls short of a generally applicable theoretical framework. Allison‟s Model III is likely to continue to find gainful employment in structuring administrative studiesO Long‟s point was that the ability of a public agency to get things done was not dependent upon the responsibilities and authority granted to it by statuteO Scholars such as Long, Gaus, and Waldo argue that, like it or not, bureaucracy is a political institution and that any useful theoretical framework has to recognize and account for this simple fact of political life. Public administration theory, in other words, must also be political theory. Theories of bureaucratic politics are designed with this objective in mind, and pursuit of this goal remains a profitable activity for students of public administration
  23. 23. Thank You