The Forging of Bureaucratic Autonomy: Reputations, Networks, and Policy Innovation in Executive Agencies, 1862-1928

The Forging of Bureaucratic Autonomy: Reputations, Networks, and Policy Innovation in Executive Agencies, 1862-1928

by Daniel Carpenter
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691070105

ISBN-13: 9780691070100

Pub. Date: 08/20/2001

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Until now political scientists have devoted little attention to the origins of American bureaucracy and the relationship between bureaucratic and interest group politics. In this pioneering book, Daniel Carpenter contributes to our understanding of institutions by presenting a unified study of bureaucratic autonomy in democratic regimes. He focuses on the emergence

Overview

Until now political scientists have devoted little attention to the origins of American bureaucracy and the relationship between bureaucratic and interest group politics. In this pioneering book, Daniel Carpenter contributes to our understanding of institutions by presenting a unified study of bureaucratic autonomy in democratic regimes. He focuses on the emergence of bureaucratic policy innovation in the United States during the Progressive Era, asking why the Post Office Department and the Department of Agriculture became politically independent authors of new policy and why the Interior Department did not. To explain these developments, Carpenter offers a new theory of bureaucratic autonomy grounded in organization theory, rational choice models, and network concepts.

According to the author, bureaucracies with unique goals achieve autonomy when their middle-level officials establish reputations among diverse coalitions for effectively providing unique services. These coalitions enable agencies to resist political control and make it costly for politicians to ignore the agencies' ideas. Carpenter assesses his argument through a highly innovative combination of historical narratives, statistical analyses, counterfactuals, and carefully structured policy comparisons. Along the way, he reinterprets the rise of national food and drug regulation, Comstockery and the Progressive anti-vice movement, the emergence of American conservation policy, the ascent of the farm lobby, the creation of postal savings banks and free rural mail delivery, and even the congressional Cannon Revolt of 1910.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691070100
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/20/2001
Series:
Princeton Studies in American Politics: Historical, International, and Comparative Perspectives Series
Pages:
472
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
List of Tables xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Abbreviations xv
Introduction 1
One: Entrepreneurship, Networked Legitimacy, and Autonomy 14
Two: The Clerical State: Obstacles to Bureaucratic Autonomy in Nineteenth-Century America 37
Three: The Railway Mail, Comstockery, and the Waning of the Old Postal Regime, 1862-94 65
Four: Organizational Renewal and Policy Innovation in the National Postal System, 1890-1910 94
Five: The Triumph of the Moral Economy: Finance, Parcels, and the Labor Dilemma in the Post Office, 1908-24 144
Six: Science in the Service of Seeds: The USDA, 1862-1900 179
Seven: From Seeds to Science: The USDA as University, 1897-1917 212
Eight: Multiple Networks and the Autonomy of Bureaus: Departures in Food, Pharmaceutical, and Forestry Policy, 1897-1913 255
Nine: Brokerage and Bureaucratic Policymaking: The Cementing of Autonomy at the USDA, 1914-28 290
Ten: Structure, Reputation, and the Bureaucratic Failure of Reclamation Policy, 1902-14 326
Conclusion: The Politics of Bureaucratic Autonomy 353
Notes 369
Archival Sources 459
Index 465

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