This chapter introduces you to what is big about big government: the bureaucracy.
Both the distinctiveness and the size of the federal government bureaucracy are reviewed, along with the various roles
that have been assigned to it throughout its history. Significant aspects
of the bureaucracy today include the extent and character of its authority,
how members are recruited, and other factors that help explain the conduct of bureaucrats in office.
Finally, the chapter looks at the ways in which Congress attempts to control
the behavior of bureaucrats and at various "pathologies" of various large bureaucracies. After reading and reviewing the material in this chapter, you should be able to do each of
- Compare and contrast the American and British models of government bureaucracy.
- Sketch the history of the growth of bureaucracy in this country and the different
uses to which it has been put.
- Show how bureaucracy continues to grow today, although the number of persons
directly employed by government has not greatly increased lately.
- Discuss the recruitment, retention, and personal characteristics of federal
- Show how the roles and missions of the agencies are affected by both internal and external factors.
- Review congressional measures to control the bureaucracy, and evaluate their
- List the "pathologies" that may affect bureaucracies, and discuss whether they are relevant to the federal government bureaucracy
- Discuss why it is so difficult to reform the bureaucracy.