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A Government of Strangers: Executive Politics in Washington / Edition 1
     

A Government of Strangers: Executive Politics in Washington / Edition 1

by Hugh Heclo
 

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ISBN-10: 0815735359

ISBN-13: 9780815735359

Pub. Date: 01/01/1977

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press

How do political appointees try to gain control of the Washington bureaucracy? How do high-ranking career bureaucrats try to ensure administrative continuity? The answers are sought in this analysis of the relations between appointees and bureaucrats that uses the participants' own words to describe the imperatives they face and the strategies they

Overview

How do political appointees try to gain control of the Washington bureaucracy? How do high-ranking career bureaucrats try to ensure administrative continuity? The answers are sought in this analysis of the relations between appointees and bureaucrats that uses the participants' own words to describe the imperatives they face and the strategies they adopt.

Shifting attention away form the well-publicized actions of the President, High Heclo reveals the little-known everyday problems of executive leadership faced by hundreds of appointees throughout the executive branch. But he also makes clear why bureaucrats must deal cautiously with political appointees and with a civil service system that offers few protections for broad-based careers of professional public service.

The author contends that even as political leadership has become increasingly bureaucratized, the bureaucracy has become more politicized. Political executives—usually ill-prepared to deal effectively with the bureaucracy—often fail to recognize that the real power of the bureaucracy is not its capacity for disobedience or sabotage but its power to withhold services. Statecraft for political executives consists of getting the changes they want without losing the bureaucratic services they need.

Heclo argues further that political executives, government careerists, and the public as well are poorly served by present arrangements for top-level government personnel. In his view, the deficiencies in executive politics will grow worse in the future. Thus he proposes changes that would institute more competent management of presidential appointments, reorganize the administration of the civil service personnel system, and create a new Federal Service of public managers.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815735359
Publisher:
Brookings Institution Press
Publication date:
01/01/1977
Pages:
292
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.66(d)

Table of Contents

1.People in Government1
What Is at Stake3
The Search for Political Leadership8
The Idea of Civil Service: A Third Force?19
2.Setting: The Executive Melange34
Who's Who?36
Trends55
Results64
Summary81
3.Political Executives: A Government of Strangers84
The Political Executive System84
The Selection Process88
Characteristics of Political Executives100
A Summary and Look Forward109
4.Bureaucrats: People in the Machine113
The Higher Career System114
Job Protection133
Bureaucratic Dispositions142
5.Working Relations: The Preliminaries154
Self-Help: The Starting Point156
Self-Help Is Not Enough170
Whom Do You Trust?181
6.Working Relations: The Main Event191
Using Strategic Resources194
Using People213
Mutual Support and Its Limits220
Conclusions232
7.Doing Better: Policies for Governing Policymakers235
The Case for Reform236
The Shape of Reform243
A Third Force: The Federal Service249
Costs and Prospects261
Index265
Text Tables
Approximate Number of Noncareer and Career Positions, U.S. Government, by Rank, 1975-76
Postwar Growth of U.S. Congressional Staffs
Previous Government Experience of Incumbent Assistant Secretaries for Administration, Selected Years, 1954-74
Government Experience of Bureau of the Budget/Office of Management and Budget Executive Personnel, 1953, 1960, and 1974
Full-Time Political Appointments in the Executive Branch, June 1976
Political Executives' Years of Experience in the Federal Government, 1970
Tenure of Political Executives, 1960-72
How Career Executive Positions Have Been Filled before and after 1967 Reforms
Figures
Political and Career Executive Positions in the Department of Commerce and in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, June 10, 1974
Management Organization of the Department of the Interior, 1924 and 1976
Index of the Growth of Mid-Level Executive Positions and Federal Civilian Employment, 1961-74
Procedures for Hiring a Career Executive

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