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Bending the RulesProcedural Politicking in the Bureaucracy$
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Rachel Augustine Potter

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226621609

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226621883.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Rulemaking as a Strategic Enterprise

Rulemaking as a Strategic Enterprise

(p.54) 3 Rulemaking as a Strategic Enterprise
Bending the Rules

Rachel Augustine Potter

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 3 presents the book’s theory and explains agencies' managerial advantages. The logic is that, from the agency's perspective, writing a rule is a significant investment, presenting important opportunity costs and staking the agency's reputation. As such, agencies make sure that the rules they write represent their preferred (albeit constrained) policy. Fortunately, from the agency's perspective, they have tools that help them protect their investments. These include the power to propose a policy—a power that is well understood by political scientists—as well as procedural power. Because interventions by the president, Congress, or the courts are costly to the agency, agencies use their procedural powers strategically to avoid political sanctions and secure policy gains. The chapter concludes with a set of testable hypotheses, derived from the broader theory, that offer expectations about how agencies will strategically manage procedures relating to proposed rule writing, public consultation, and timing.

Keywords:   theory, procedural politicking, hypotheses, writing, consultation, timing, reputation

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