Bureaucracy Abstracts, Bureaucracy
Syllabus, PSC 335/535 "Bureaucratic Politics" - University of Rochester
- Stu Jordan
Overview: This course covers a selection of work in Political Science, Political Economy,
and Economics on government bureaucracies.The works we examine are grouped into 5 topics:
(1) Delegation of policy authority from politicians to bureaucrats, (2) the operation of
patronage systems and explanations for the emergence of "merit systems", (3) the
extent of "autonomous" bureaucratic influence in policy-making, (4) concerns
over the "capture" of regulatory agencies by the firms they regulate, and (5)
the role of bureaucrats motivations and policy preferences in the performance and
design of bureaucratic institutions; Because my expertise is almost totally confined to
U.S. politics, almost all the work reviewed addresses bureaucratic politics in the U.S.
Week 1 Delegation from Politicians to Bureaucrats: Overview and some Normative
Week 2 Explanations for Delegation: Blame Shifting and Credit-Claiming.
Week 3 Explanations for Delegation: Politicians Needs for Information
Week 4 Control by the U.S. Congress? Part 1
Week 5 Control by the U.S. Congress? Part 2
Week 6 Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control
Week 7 Patronage vs. Merit, Part 1: How and Why Patronage Work(s/ed)
Week 8 Patronage vs. Merit, Part 2: The Transition from Patronage to Merit
Week 9 "Bureaucratic Autonomy"?
Week 10 Capture and Collusion, Part 1.
Week 11 Capture and Collusion, Part 2.
Week 12 "Motivated" Bureaucrats, Part 1.
Week 13 "Motivated" Bureaucrats, Part 2.
Sociology 110 - Formal Organizations and Bureaucracy
Instructor: Amy Davis - www.unc.edu/~abarden
This course has the following objectives: (1) study the founding, transformation, and
disbanding of organizations (2) provide you with opportunities to develop writing skills
and to work with others (3) provide you with an atmosphere that encourages the exploration
and exchange of new ideas (4) help prepare you for your professional and/or academic
Texts and Readings
The primary textbook we will read this semester is Organizations Evolving, by Howard
Aldrich. I refer to it as HA in the course schedule, but here is the complete reference.
Aldrich, Howard. 1999. Organizations Evolving London: Sage.
We will also read excerpts from books and articles from academic and popular journals and
newspapers. The textbook is available at the campus bookstore. The other readings are
available on reserve at the Undergraduate Library and/or are electronically available on
Introduction to Organizations Evolving
The Evolutionary Perspective.
New Organizations Part I. (Entrepreneurs and their Networks)
New Organizations Part II. (Knowledge and Resources)
Organizational boundaries Part I.
Organizational boundaries, Part II.
Turning employees into members
New Organizational Forms Part I.
New Organizational Forms Part II.
Perrow, Charles. 1986. Complex Organizations: A Critical Essay. Chapter 1: Why
Bureaucracy? Pp 1-36
Under what conditions is charismatic control effective in organizations? What is your
reaction to charismatic control? What are some ways in which Direct Selling Organizations
differ from Bureaucratic Organizations?
How does the power pluralism view differ from the power elite view?
Organizations and Social Change
Why is it important to consider age, period, and cohort effects?
Why do new populations have to establish legitimacy?
Why dont these new populations have legitimacy?
Reproducing Populations: Foundings and Disbandings
According to Aldrich, how do small, local breweries survive given the dominance of beer
producers like Budweiser?
Sutton, Robert I. 1987. The Process of Organizational Death: Disbanding and
Reconnecting. Administrative Science Quarterly 32:542-569.
What is a successful organizational disbanding?