Bureaucracy and the Policy Process
POLS 330 – Fall 2005
In order to adequately evaluate the American political environment, as a political scientist one must take on the challenge of understanding bureaucracy. In this course, we will examine a number of questions surrounding public bureaucracies, including: What is the origin of the American bureaucratic system? How has it progressed and evolved into its current form? Why are bureaucrats reviled in some instances and revered in others? How can or should unelected government officials be made more accountable to their elected counterparts and to the citizens they serve? Do unelected government officials “make” policy and, if so, what is the policy process? Is it accurate, or even fair, to carve out public bureaucracy as the “fourth branch of government?”
In addressing these and many other questions, we will rely on the blending of classic and contemporary public administration theory. Also, we will discuss real-life cases in several areas of public policy, including homeland security, education, the environment, law enforcement, and social welfare.
II. Contact and Meeting Information
Trent J. Davis
Office: DuSable 476
Phone: (815) 753-1818
Office Hours: T/Th 10:45 to 11:45am, or by appointment
T/Th 9:30 to 10:45am, DuSable 459
III. Required Course Materials
The following textbooks are required for this course:
This section provides an outline of the assignments/exams required for this course and the point value each exercise will carry. In addition, an overview of each assignment/exam has been provided below.
Participation/Attendance 50 The following grading scale will be utilized:
Meeting/Presentation/Paper 100 405 - 450 A
Book Review 100 360 - 404 B
Midterm Exam 100 315 - 359 C
Cumulative Final Exam 100 270 - 314 D
450pts Below 270 F
Students are strongly encouraged to attend all regularly scheduled class lectures and any special study sessions or exam review periods that may occur. It is also expected that students will arrive to class on time and remain for the duration of the class period (unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor). In addition, students should come to class prepared and make every effort to become actively engaged in the class discussion. Please note: Unnecessary disruptions (including, but not limited to, arriving late to class) will not be tolerated.
The participation/attendance grade will be based on the frequency of a student’s attendance and his or her level of participation (including in-class group exercises and short take-home assignments). Two (2) or more unexcused absences will result in a 10-point grade deduction; moreover, an additional 5 points will be assessed for each unexcused absence thereafter. Excused absences, so long as the class attendance policy is adhered to, will not count against a student’s grade. Bear in mind that it is up to the student to provide the instructor with advance notice (whenever possible) and the proper documentation (within 48 hours) validating a student’s absence from class.
Over the course of the semester, we will make extensive use of the Goodsell text The Case for Bureaucracy: A Public Administration Polemic. On or around the third week of class, each student will be assigned to a small group (more detail regarding the sign-up procedure will be provided in class). For this assignment, each student will be required to participate in one small group meeting outside of class with the instructor. During this meeting, we will engage in an analysis and discussion of one chapter of the Goodsell text. It should be noted that a concerted effort will be made to schedule these meetings at varying locations and on varying days and times, thus reducing the risk of conflicting schedules.
On the class period following your group’s meeting, your group will be responsible for making a short (i.e., 5 to 10 minute) presentation summarizing the key points and important concepts contained within the chapter. In addition to the oral presentation, each group will be responsible for providing a concise written summary of their assigned chapter to every member of the class. The summary should be no more than 1 to 2 pages, single-spaced, in 12-point Times or Times New Roman font, with 1” margins. Following the presentation, the instructor will lead the class in a discussion of the chapter, whereby all students will be called upon and expected to participate.
Grading: For this assignment, half of your grade (i.e., 50 points) will be based on the small group meeting. The other half will be based on the presentation and summary paper.
student is required to submit a book review that examines a book related to
some aspect of bureaucracy and public policy. The book review provides the
opportunity to both read and reflect upon a classic or contemporary work in the
field of public administration. The book review is due on
November 22. Late papers will not be accepted without severe penalty.
The book review should conform to the following guidelines:
Provided below is a list of recommended books. For this class, however, you may review any book that you choose, so long as I have granted you the prior approval to do so.
Carolyn Ban, How Do Public Managers Manage?, Jossey Bass, 1995.
Barry Bozeman, Bureaucracy and Red Tape, Prentice Hall, 2000.
John Brehm & S. Gates, Working, Shirking, and Sabotage, Michigan, 1997.
Dan Carpenter, The Forging of Bureaucratic Autonomy: Reputations, Networks, and Policy Innovation in Executive Agencies, 1862-1928, Princeton, 2001.
John Chubb & T. Moe, Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools, Brookings, 1990.
Steven Cohen & R. Brand, Total Quality Management in Government, Jossey-Bass, 1993.
Brian Cook, Bureaucracy and Self-Government, Johns Hopkins, 1996.
Robert Denhardt, In the Shadow of Organization, Kansas, 1989.
Anthony Downs, Inside Bureaucracy, Little Brown, 1967.
George Frederickson, New Public Administration, Alabama, 1980.
Marissa Golden, What Motivates Bureaucrats, Columbia, 2000.
Samuel Krislov, Representative Bureaucracy, Prentice-Hall, 1974.
John Heinz, E. Lauman, R. Nelson & R. Salisbury, The Hollow Core, Harvard, 1993.
Daniel Katz & R. Kahn, The Social Psychology of Organizations, Wiley, 1966.
Herbert Kaufman, The Forest Ranger, Hopkins, 1960.
George Krause, A Two-Way Street: The Institutional Dynamics of the Modern Administrative State, Pittsburgh, 1999.
Mary Kweit & R. Kweit, Implementing Citizen Participation in a Bureaucratic Society, Praeger, 1981.
Paul Light, The New Public Service, Brookings, 1999.
Paul Light, Thickening Government, Brookings, 1995.
Michael Lipsky, Street Level Bureaucracy, Russell Sage, 1983.
Terry Moe, Schools, Vouchers, and the American Public, Brookings, 2001.
David Osborne & T. Gaebler, Reinventing Government, Addison-Wesley, 1992.
David Osborne & P. Plastrik, Banishing Bureaucracy, Plume/Pengiun, 1997.
Jeffrey Pressman & A. Wildavsky, Implementation, California, 1973.
Emmette Redford, Democracy and the Administrative State, Oxford, 1985.
Randall Ripley & G. Franklin, Congress, the Bureaucracy and Public Policy, Dorsey, 1990.
E.S. Savas, Privatization and Public-Private Partnerships, Chatham House, 2000.
Sally Selden, The Promise of Representative Bureaucracy, M.E.Sharpe, 1997.
Hindy Schachter, Reinventing Government or Reinventing Ourselves, SUNY Press, 1997.
Herbert Simon, Administrative Behavior, Macmillan, 1947.
Herbert Simon, Red Tape, Brookings, 1977.
Kevin Smith & K. Meier, The Case Against School Choice: Politics, Markets, and Fools, M.E.Sharpe, 1995.
Dwight Waldo, The Administrative State, Ronald, 1948.
James Wilson, Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It, Basic Books, 1991.
Dan Wood & R. Waterman, Bureaucratic Dynamics: The Role of Bureaucracy in a Democracy, Westview, 1994.
Midterm and Final Examinations
There will be a midterm and a final exam. Both exams will consist of any combination of multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions. The format for the midterm and final exam will be closed-book/note. The midterm exam is scheduled for October 13 and the final exam is scheduled for December 8. The format for the final exam will differ from the midterm in that it will be cumulative in nature; however, material covered during the second half of the semester will be emphasized.
Students wishing to earn extra credit may speak to the instructor regarding the opportunity to make a short (i.e., 10 minute) class presentation regarding some aspect of bureaucracy and public policy. In order to earn extra credit, you must demonstrate both an interest in and knowledge of your topic. Depending on the quality of your presentation, up to 10-points may be earned. Please see me for further details.
V. Undergraduate Writing Awards
The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300 and 400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing; however, winners are expected to attend the Department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages – one with the student’s name and one without the student’s name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition even if the student has graduated.
VI. Academic Integrity and Rules of Decorum
Honesty is the essence of the intellectual life of the University. Students who copy the work of another on an assignment, paper, quiz, or examination are guilty of cheating. The misrepresentation of another's work as your own, copying material from books, magazines, or other resources without acknowledgement and identification of those sources is plagiarism. If a student is guilty of either cheating or plagiarizing, or of assisting other students in cheating or plagiarizing on an assignment, paper, quiz, or examination, the student may receive a grade of “F” for the course and be suspended or dismissed from the University. Please consult the University’s website, the Student Judicial Code, or speak to the course instructor if you have further questions concerning this policy.
In addition to the University’s Rules of Decorum, there are a few additional policies that I would like each student to observe.
Always demonstrate courtesy and respect toward all others in class. This includes respecting the opinions of others and refraining from talking while they are speaking.
Make every effort to come to class on time and be prepared. Habitual tardiness will not be tolerated, as it is an unfair disruption to all others in the class.
If you must leave the class early, please let me know before class begins. Leaving and then returning to class, unless for a valid and necessary reason, will not be tolerated.
Turn off ALL electronic devices (i.e., cell phones, pagers, PDAs) prior to entering class. If you accidentally leave a phone on and it rings during class, do not answer it. Hang up the phone.
While the class is in progress, do not read newspapers or books for another class. Moreover, do not engage in side conversations with other students in the class.
During an exam, there are to be no electronic devices, including but not limited to cell phones, pagers, and PDAs, left on or visible to you or I. If for any reason you are caught with an electronic device during an exam, you will receive an automatic “F” on the exam and be turned into to the University for academic misconduct.
During an exam, all backpacks, briefcases, purses, and etcetera are to be closed and stored under your seat. If for any reason during the exam you must access one of these items, raise your hand and let me know prior to doing so.
VII. Statement Concerning Students with Disabilities
Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework, and for which they may require accommodations, should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.
VIII. Department of Political Science Website
Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science website on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu.
IX. Weekly Class Schedule
Week 1: Rise of the American Administrative State
Tuesday, August 23
Thursday, August 25
Overview of the American Administrative State
American Bureaucracy defined
Why do we study bureaucracy?
Read: Kettl and Fesler, chapter 1 and Goodsell, chapter 1
Week 2: The Nature of Governmental Activity
Tuesday, August 30
The American Administrative State, continued
Size of the American bureaucracy and the “shadow government”
Myths and realities about bureaucracy
Identifying our own perceptions of bureaucracy
Overview of the Blackboard Course Server
Thursday, September 1
The functions and tools of government
Read: Kettl and Fesler, chapter 2
Week 3: Politics-Administration Dichotomy
Tuesday, September 6
Conclude discussion on the rise of American Administrative state and the nature of governmental activity
Initial impressions of the bureaucracy’s job
Thursday, September 8
What is the Politics-Administration Dichotomy? Why does it matter?
Read: Wilson, W. (1887), “The
Study of Administration” pgs. 197-222 [on-line] and
Goodnow, F. (1900), “Politics and Administration: A Study of government” pgs. 1-22 [on-line] and Svara, J. (1985), “Dichotomy and Duality: Reconceptualizing the Relationship between Policy and Administration in Council-Manager Cities” pgs. 221-232 [on-line]
Week 4: Politics-Administration Dichotomy, continued
Tuesday, September 13
Small group exercise – bring readings from 9/8 & 9/13 with you to class.
The Revisionist Debate
Read: Martin, D. (1988), “The
Fading Legacy of Woodrow Wilson” pgs. 631-636 [on-line] and
Svara, J. (1998), “The Politics-Administration Dichotomy Model as Aberration” pgs. 51-57
Thursday, September 15
Conclude discussion on the Politics-Administration Dichotomy and revisionist debate
Begin overview of the policy process
Week 5: The Policy Process
Tuesday, September 20
Overview of the policy process, continued
Bureaucracy as a policy making institute, a “fourth branch” of government?
Our model of bureaucratic policy making
Thursday, September 22
Homework: Review Goodsell, chapter 1 in anticipation of the small group meetings
Week 6: Policy Typologies
Tuesday, September 27
Regulatory, Redistributive, Distributive, and Constituent Policy
Read: Kettl and Fesler, chapter 12
Thursday, September 29
Conclude discussion on policy typologies
Week 7: Decision Making Models
Tuesday, October 4
Decision Making models – is accuracy possible?
Overview of most prominent models of decision making
Read: Kettl and Fesler, chapter 9 (first half)
Thursday, October 6
Overview of most prominent models of decision making, continued
Read: Kettl and Fesler, chapter 9 (second half)
Week 8: Decision Making Models, continued
Tuesday, October 11
Conclude discussion on decision making
Thursday, October 13
MIDTERM EXAM – Bring Blue Book
Week 9: Implementation
Tuesday, October 18
A more detailed look at the importance of implementation and policy outcomes
Judging program success versus failure
Read: Kettl and Fesler, chapter 11
Thursday, October 20
Conclude discussion on implementation and policy outcomes
Week 10: Budgeting
Tuesday, October 25
The single most important and informative government document?
The dual roles of the budget
The budget process
Read: Kettl and Fesler, chapter 13
Thursday, October 27
Conclude discussion on budgeting
Week 11: People in Government Organizations
Tuesday, November 1
Elements of the civil service system and managing human capital
Position classification, staffing, compensation, employee rights, and collective bargaining
Read: Kettl and Fesler, chapter 7
Thursday, November 3
Managing human capital
Read: Kettl and Fesler, chapter 8
Week 12: Controlling the Bureaucracy
Tuesday, November 8
Conclude discussion on the civil service system
Thursday, November 10
Are mechanisms for control desired? Are they necessary?
Internal and external controls
Read: Kettl and Fesler, chapter 13 and pages 394 - 406
Week 13: Controlling the Bureaucracy, continued
Tuesday, November 15
Internal and external controls, continued
Is it possible to effectively control the bureaucracy?
Thursday, November 17
The emerging importance of ethics
Code of ethics
Read: Kettl and Fesler, pages 406 - 413
Week 14: Reforming the Bureaucracy: The Future, Part I
Tuesday, November 22
BOOK REVIEW DUE
Strategies and tactics of administrative reform
Why is reform so difficult? Is reform necessary?
The search for effective organization
Read: Kettl and Fesler, chapter 4 and 6
Thursday, November 24
Thanksgiving Holiday – No class
Week 15: Reforming the Bureaucracy: The Future, Part II
Tuesday, November 29
The National Performance Review
Read: Osborne, D. and Gaebler, T. (1992), “Reinventing Government” chapter 11 [on-line] and DeLeon, L. and Denhardt, R. (2000), “The Political Theory of Reinvention” pgs. 89-97 [on-line]
Thursday, December 1
Conclude discussion on administrative reform
Course Wrap-up, last minute questions, and etcetera
FINAL EXAM – Thursday, December 8 from 10:00 to 11:50am. Bring Blue Book.
Please note: The instructor reserves the right to change the course schedule/requirements as necessary.
September 22 – Class canceled
October 13 – Midterm Exam
November 22 – Book Review Due
November 24 – Thanksgiving Holiday
December 8 – Final Exam