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Sean Nicholson-Crotty and Sean Webeck

While students of public administration know a good deal about the role of bureaucratic discretion in the implementation of policy and about the ability of elected officials to influence bureaucratic behavior, less attention has been given to the influence that bureaucratic actors have on the formulation of policy. This chapter highlights some of the work in this area, providing a way forward for practitioners and scholars alike. It builds off previous research to highlight three mechanisms through which bureaucrats might influence the formulation of policy, including policy expertise, clientele and public support, and the role of bureaucrats as anchors in policy networks and advocacy coalitions. The authors also discuss the ways in which policy type, policy subsystems, and the level of government may condition these avenues of bureaucratic influence.