Silence, Conflict, and Bureaucratic Power

Edward Page

in Policy Without Politicians

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199645138
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745157 | DOI:
Silence, Conflict, and Bureaucratic Power

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In modern government the work of others is often passed off as the work of its political leaders. Governments make thousands of policy decisions each year, few of which make headlines and politicians cannot concern themselves with all of them. On a pessimistic view the huge scale of everyday policy-making means that political leaders are outnumbered by the bureaucrats who are almost of necessity left to make the decisions and thus the bureaucrats have all the power. A more optimistic view has it that a range of institutions and norms ensure that politicians remain in control. When do politicians get involved in executive policy-making? What happens when they become involved? What happens when they do not? Answers to these questions, based on an examination of everyday policy-making in six jurisdictions, will help us understand the nature of bureaucracy in modern political systems.

Keywords: bureaucracy; delegation; decrees; secondary legislation; policy-making; political leadership

Chapter.  11700 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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