310Lspring2009StudyingTheFederalBureaucracy-1

310Lspring2009StudyingTheFederalBureaucracy-1 - Studying...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style Studying the Federal Bureaucracy
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What is bureaucracy? “A large, complex organization characterized by a hierarchical set of offices, each with a specific task, controlled through a clear chain of command, and where appointment and advancement of personnel is based on merit.” [textbook, p. 394]
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Why do we have bureaucracy? To perform its functions—see below To insulate administration/administrators from politics/political consideration An unrealistic ideal, not a reality
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Key textbook themes [with my additions in italics] Case study: regulating Chinese imports American bureaucracy: How exceptional? Hostile political culture Incoherent organization “a network of bureaucracies” Divided control Each branch has its own bureaucracy Transformation of the bureaucracy: a brief administrative history of the U.S. “Ballooning”—agencies get bigger “Thickening”—more levels of administrators “Widening”—more agencies How the Executive Branch is organized How big is the federal government? [box pp. 416-417]
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Key features of bureaucracy Continuous conduct of business Hierarchical organization Task specialization Law-based and rule-based authority Business via written documents But now also email--and case of Bush Administration Differences between public and private bureaucracies Goals: imposed vs. chosen Spending requirements: who decides how money’s spent what happens to savings?
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310Lspring2009StudyingTheFederalBureaucracy-1 - Studying...

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