9780226924410

Learning While Governing: Expertise and Accountability in the Executive Branch

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780226924410

  • ISBN10:

    0226924416

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 12/1/2012
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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Summary

Although their leaders and staff are not elected, bureaucratic agencies have the power to make policy decisions that carry the full force of the law. In this groundbreaking book, Sean Gailmard and John W. Patty explore an issue central to political science and public administration: How do Congress and the president ensure that bureaucratic agencies implement their preferred policies? The assumption has long been that bureaucrats bring to their positions expertise, which must then be marshaled to serve the interests of a particular policy. In Learning While Governing,Gailmard and Patty overturn this conventional wisdom, showing instead that much of what bureaucrats need to know to perform effectively is learned on the job. Bureaucratic expertise, they argue, is a function of administrative institutions and interactions with political authorities that collectively create an incentive for bureaucrats to develop expertise. The challenge for elected officials is therefore to provide agencies with the autonomy to do so while making sure they do not stray significantly from the administration's course. To support this claim, the authors analyze several types of information-management processes. Learning While Governingspeaks to an issue with direct bearing on power relations between Congress, the president, and the executive agencies, and it will be a welcome addition to the literature on bureaucratic development.

Author Biography

Sean Gailmard is the Judith E. Gruber Associate Professor in the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. John W. Patty is associate professor of political science and director of the Center for New Institutional Social Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Acquiring Information
Developing Administrative Expertisep. 25
Expertise and Deferencep. 55
The Federal Civil Servicep. 78
Sharing Information
Agents for Policy Advice under Separation of Powersp. 137
Congressional Development of the Institutional Presidencyp. 167
Eliciting Information
Information, Regulated Interests, and Administrative Policymakingp. 227
The SEC and the Regulation of Financep. 244
Conclusionp. 275
Notesp. 283
Bibliographyp. 305
Indexp. 315
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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