Bureaucratic Dynamics: The Role of Bureaucracy in a Democracy

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The authors of this volume seek to dispel two powerful "myths of the bureaucracy" - the belief that the federal bureaucracy is unresponsive to government and the belief that democracy itself is imperiled by an out-of-control bureaucratic process. Wood and Waterman contend that the process is in fact a highly dynamic and democratic one. Offering readable case studies and well-paired figures and tables (presented in both technical and nontechnical fashion), Bureaucratic Dynamics uses principal-agent theory to ...
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Overview

The authors of this volume seek to dispel two powerful "myths of the bureaucracy" - the belief that the federal bureaucracy is unresponsive to government and the belief that democracy itself is imperiled by an out-of-control bureaucratic process. Wood and Waterman contend that the process is in fact a highly dynamic and democratic one. Offering readable case studies and well-paired figures and tables (presented in both technical and nontechnical fashion), Bureaucratic Dynamics uses principal-agent theory to explain how the public policy system works. High-profile cases of eight federal agencies from the EPA to the FDA and discussions of major legislation such as the Clean Air Act help the authors provide a new perspective on the overall bureaucratic process for students and professionals of the bureaucracy, public policy, administration, and government regulation.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

B. Dan Wood is professor of political science at Texas A&M University. Richard W. Waterman is professor of political science at the University of Kentucky. He is co-author of The Image is Everything Presidency and Bureaucratic Dynamics.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
Preface and Acknowledgments
1 Toward a More Dynamic Conception of Bureaucracy 1
Popular Perceptions of Bureaucratic Adaptation 2
Legitimacy, the Constitution, and Bureaucratic Adaptation 5
2 Scholarly Thinking and Research on the Bureaucracy 13
Normative Controversies over Politics and the Bureaucracy 13
Empirical Controversies over Politics and the Bureaucracy 18
The Principal-Agent Model 22
3 The Dynamics of Political Control of the Bureaucracy 27
Theories of Political Control 28
Past Research 29
Methods and Data 31
Studies in Political Control 71
4 The Dynamics of Political-Bureaucratic Adaptation 77
Past Research 78
An Adaptive Model of Politics and the Bureaucracy 79
Data, Measurement, and Hypotheses 83
Four Models of Political-Bureaucratic Adaptation 88
5 A Bottom-Up Perspective on Political-Bureaucratic Adaptation 103
The Sources of Bureaucratic Power 104
Expertise, Exogenous Events, Issue Salience, and Nonrecursive Political-Bureaucratic Adaptation 107
Constituency, Vitality, and Leadership in Political-Bureaucratic Adaptation 115
6 Promoting Bureaucratic Accountability: A Two-Way Street 129
Information and Oversight 130
Agency Theory 132
Policy Monitoring 136
7 Bureaucratic Democracy and Its Dysfunctions 141
On the Legitimacy of Bureaucracy in a Democracy 142
On the Roles of Political Principals 145
How Well Is Bureaucratic Democracy Working? 150
Appendix 155
Notes 157
References 165
About the Book and Authors 177
Index 179
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