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Procedural Politicking in Perspective

Procedural Politicking in Perspective

(p.185) 8 Procedural Politicking in Perspective
Bending the Rules
Rachel Augustine Potter
University of Chicago Press

Chapter 8 wraps up the book; the evidence demonstrates that bureaucrats do not neutrally implement the administrative process. Rather, they rely on procedural politicking and use their political acumen and procedural prerogatives to insulate policies from political interference. This chapter draws out the public policy implications of this bureaucratic power. It covers how political polarization is likely to affect procedural politicking in the longer term and also whether, normatively speaking, citizens should be concerned that unelected bureaucrats have such an outsized influence over the direction of public policy in the United States. The book concludes with a consideration of how the lessons learned about the importance of bureaucrats' incentives and capabilities speak to a number of regulatory reform proposals that have been floated in recent years.

Keywords:   polarization, bureaucrats, procedural politicking, regulatory reform, public policy

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