The success or failure of empires, nation-states, and city-states often rests on the relationship between bureaucracy and politicians. In this provocative and timely volume, editor Ali Farazmand examines the myriad relationships between politicians and bureaucrats and how they affect modern governance. This book is organized around the major themes of professionalism, bureaucracy, governance, and the relationship between career bureaucrats/higher civil servants and political appointees/politicians under presidential and parliamentary systems. After introducing the basic elements of bureaucracies in Part I, the book discusses the relations between bureaucrats and politicians in presidential systems in Part II as well as in parliamentary systems in Part III. This original and up-to-date book will fill a gap in the literature on the relationship between bureaucrats and politicians in modern governance and public administration. It can be used as a primary or supplementary text at the undergraduate and graduate level for those interested in public administration, comparative public policy, political science, and government.
Chapter 1: Coups and Crashes: Lessons for Public Administration
Coups and Crashes: Lessons for Public Administration
Bureaucratic Excesses and Fatigue
When bureaucrats feel pushed to the wall and see no solutions to their problems within the confines of constitutional rules and customary norms, they may, in desperation, choose one of two contradictory options. The first involves a suspension of the rules and the imposition of bureaucratic domination—as commonly seen in contemporary coups d'état. The alternative reaction involves surrender—the abandonment of efforts to cope with current administrative problems—a choice that can contribute to regime crashes. I shall call the first bureaucratic excesses and the second bureaucratic fatigue. Both of these responses are based on extreme forms of bureaucratic frustration, as when officials cannot understand or carry out the tasks ...