Representative Bureaucracy

Lael R. Keiser

in The Oxford Handbook of American Bureaucracy

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199238958
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

Representative Bureaucracy

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This article starts by discussing the central concepts, contingencies, and consequences identified in prior research on the study of representative bureaucracy. It concentrates on the results of prior research in gauging the interaction of passive and active representation on the behaviour of American bureaucracies, as well as what is known about symbolic representation. It then presents the causal mechanisms, appropriate units of analysis, generalizability of findings, and the link between empirical research and normative issues surrounding the theory. All bureaucrats have identities related to sex, race, and ethnicity that affect how they implement policy. Representative bureaucracy can make the bureaucracy ineffective and decrease the loyalty of workers to the common mission established by legislation in a democratic republic. The article summarizes what some of the most promising avenues and methodologies are for future research on representative bureaucracy in the United States.

Keywords: representative bureaucracy; United States; American bureaucracies; symbolic representation; legislation

Article.  10929 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Institutions

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