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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

Writing as a Tool

Writing as a Tool

(p.85) 4 Writing as a Tool
Bending the Rules

Rachel Augustine Potter

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 4 tackles the writing of a proposed rule, investigating how agencies can draft a proposal in a way that effectively insulates it from political oversight. The chapter begins with an introduction to the Regulatory Proposals Dataset, a new dataset of approximately 11,000 rules from 150 agencies, as well as the measures that are used to separate the most important rules from the least important ones. Using these data, the chapter then explores how agencies manipulate the accessibility of a rule as a tool of procedural politicking. Relying on text analysis tools, the results show that bureaucrats write longer and less readable rules when political principals are at ideological odds with the agency and when interest groups serve as more active monitors.

Keywords:   proposed rule, procedural politicking, writing, text analysis, Regulatory Proposals Dataset

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