NEW AND KEY FEATURES: Updated to reflect developments up through the end of the Obama administration and the transition to the Trump administration offering timelier application of the theories to what is currently happening in bureaucratic politics. Interviews with two new cabinet secretaries – Christine Todd Whitman and Tom Ridge – with insightful quotes from them throughout the book. New section on the diffusion of policy diffusion, an important topic both for researchers and policymakers, illustrates the idea that much policy is made at the state level, and that states learn and emulate one another on a range of issues. Added material on the battle over regulations, a battle that will loom large during the Trump administration, including midnight regulations and the Congressional Review Act. New examples demonstrate the activity and influence of constituencies of different kinds including the placing of women and minorities on US currency, a vignette that features the musical Hamilton, and the political protests surrounding the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. A new discussion of the pros and cons of the privatization of roads.

Why Are Some Bureaucracies Better Than Others?

7 Why are some bureaucracies better than others?

As the theoretical frameworks and case studies throughout this book have demonstrated, executive branch bureaucracies are policymaking organizations that operate as institutions of American democracy. As one observer has put it, agencies “shape decisions that influence the quality of the air you breathe, how safe your car is, which immigrants will enter and stay in this country, how airports will be protected from terrorism, what you can expect from your employer in terms of working conditions and pension, and how safe that hamburger is that you just put in your mouth.”1 In terms of affecting our lives on a day-to-day basis, the bureaucracy has no peer among government institutions.

Although this ...

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