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The Bureaucracy

Readings and Links

The Bureaucracy Quiz

How to Cite This SparkNote

Suggested Reading

Arnold, Peri E. Making the Managerial Presidency: Comprehensive Organization Planning. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986.

Managing the federal bureaucracy is a monumental task. Arnold studies how effectively it can be done and argues for the importance of large-scale planning.

Brehm, John, and Scott Gates. Working, Shirking, and Sabotage: Bureaucratic Response to a Democratic Public. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996.

Brehm and Gates argue that, in general, bureaucracies do a good job of responding to the public.

Fesler, James W., and Donald F. Kettl. The Politics of the Administration Process. Chatham, NJ: Chatham House, 1991.

Fesler and Kettl study how politics affects the bureaucracy and how bureaucratic politics shape policy.

Kerwin, Cornelius M. Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2003.

An in-depth study of the rule-making process.

Wilson, James Q. Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It. New York: Basic Books, 1989.

Wilson, a prominent scholar, provides a thorough account of the nuts and bolts of the bureaucracy: how bureaucracies provide services, and how they are managed.

Wood, Dan B. Bureaucratic Dynamics: The Role of Bureaucracy in a Democracy. Boulder, Col.: Westview, 1994.

Democratic governments are supposed to be accountable to the people, but bureaucracies are unelected and powerful. Wood explores how bureaucracy can function—and be held accountable—in a democratic society.

Useful Websites

www.census.gov

The U.S. Census Bureau provides extensive statistical information on government agencies, not just on the public.

www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html

The Federal Register lists all proposed rule changes issued by government agencies.

www.icma.org

The website for the International City/County Management Association, a professional organization of city managers. The city manager system of local government was a key component of the Progressive movement, which also spawned the civil service.

www.opm.gov

The Office of Personnel Management is the central personnel agency for the federal government. The site contains information about civil service exams and rules.

www.whistleblower.org

The site of the Government Accountability Project, which offers support and encouragement to whistleblowers.

www.whitehouse.gov/omb

The Office of Management and Budget is one of the most important parts of the Executive Office of the president. The site contains extensive budget information.

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