Executive Governance: Presidential Administrations and Policy Change in the Federal Bureaucracy

By Cornell G. Hooton | Go to book overview

3
Legalism and Authority

1. Rules, Requirements, and Definitions

Spurs to Legalism

We begin with observations on legalistic and formalistic behaviors in policy change. Although the existence of formalistic behaviors has been observed before as part of "bureaucratic behavior," this chapter renews the emphasis by noting not just their pervasiveness but the functional role that they play in shaping and organizing action—an emphasis that constrains the calculations and maneuvers of top-level policy-makers even as it ultimately provides them with a resource (the latter perspective appearing in Chapter 6). Careerists in bureaus seem not just to have used formal precedents and procedures to guide day-to-day matters but also to have adhered to them even in knowing contradiction of political directions that seem on their face to make reasonable demands. The implication is that a variety of legal considerations may strongly bound efforts by political appointees to exert informal, "political" influence over policy change. But why does the attentiveness occur among careerists?

No single reason is clear from interview data. Formalistic and legal rigidity seemingly springs from any of a number of desires: for coordinating action within and across offices; for protecting the autonomy of decisions that are central to an office; for preserving professional standards against cross-cutting political pressures and an environment that is ready to protest, or to exploit, an appearance of impartiality or favoritism; for promoting a certain set of policy preferences; for maintaining stability or preventing changes in program focus; or for some combination of these possibilities. Indeed, differing motives are apparent in differing situations. Three motives are especially noticeable, however, in the selected policy areas of this study.


Policy Preferences

First, formalistic behaviors appear to have provided some careerists an opportunity to slow or block a new policy that they did not like. An example

-47-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Executive Governance: Presidential Administrations and Policy Change in the Federal Bureaucracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 254

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.