Edited by Edmund C. Stazyk and H. G. Frederickson
Chapter 4: Public administration as a function of executive and legislative power
In this chapter, we examine various perspectives of bureaucratic delegation and control in political science and public administration scholarship. Congress must (with notable exceptions) naturally defer power to the administrative state as a function of the complexity of modern policy demands and political polarization. Within this dynamic, presidents seek to substitute their policy judgment for that of the Congress, the judiciary, and the career bureaucracy through tools of the modern administrative presidency. At the same time, as substantive experts and legal authorities, career administrators and professionals in federal agencies and partnering organizations tasked with the responsibility of policy implementation can influence policy profoundly. In this chapter, we assess research that examines legislative and executive attempts to control bureaucratic behavior. We focus on the inherent dilemmas that emerge in terms of empirical evidence of the various claims put forward by this research and its implications in American constitutional governance.
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