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Public Administration and Politics This paper wi

Bureaucracies have established sets of rules and procedures which ensure that their functions are carried out in an orderly manner. Some have argued that bureaucracies have also insulated themselves from public scrutiny and effectively made themselves more powerful than the elected governors who appointed them. (Gerth and Mills, 1958, pp. 232-5). Others argue that in the American political system, bureaucrats are unable to rule alone, although they exert a great deal of influence over the administration of government. Under these theories, bureaucracies comprise another entity in American government which shares power with other entities. The power of bureaucracies is such that they can prevent the other governmental entities from carrying out their functions. They may not be able to rule alone, but the other entities cannot rule without them. (Rourke, 1976, ch. 7).

This would seem to indicate that bureaucracies possess the potential power to rule without democratic influences. It has been pointed out, however, that this does not occur in practice. First, bureaucracies do not derive all of their power to administrate from their elected benefactors. Instead, they derive some power from the structures of interests which surround them. Second, political parties rarely, if ever, create a political consensus for policymaking. The bureaucracies charged with


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