Controlling Regulatory Sprawl: Presidential Strategies from Nixon to Reagan

Synopsis

The fundamental issue in the controversy over White House efforts to assume more complete control over the federal regulatory bureaucracy is that of administrative accountability in a democratic political system. This work examines the nature and consequences of the shift from political to administrative policy making, with illustrations from the records of the Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations. Ball concludes that all four presidents, despite stylistic differences, viewed regulatory control problems in strikingly similar terms, attempting to oversee federal agency activity through personnel control, deregulation, reorganization efforts, and centralized review.

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