The Promise of Representative Bureaucracy: Diversity and Responsiveness in a Government Agency

The Promise of Representative Bureaucracy: Diversity and Responsiveness in a Government Agency

The Promise of Representative Bureaucracy: Diversity and Responsiveness in a Government Agency

The Promise of Representative Bureaucracy: Diversity and Responsiveness in a Government Agency

Synopsis

This text on representive bureaucracy covers topics such as: bureaucracy as a representative institution; bureaucratic power and the dilemma of administrative responsibility; and representative bureaucracy and the potential for reconciling bureaucracy and democracy.

Excerpt

The M.E. Sharpe series in Bureaucracy, Public Policy, and Public Administration is designed as a forum for the best work on bureaucracy and its role in public policy and governance. Although the series is open with regard to approach, methods, and perspectives, especially sought are three types of research. First, the series hopes to attract empirical studies of bureaucracy. Public administration has long been viewed as a theoretical and methodological backwater of political science. This view persists despite a recent flurry of research. The series seeks to place public administration at the forefront of empirical analysis within political science. Second, the series is interested in conceptual work that attempts to clarify theoretical issues, set an agenda for research, or provide a focus for professional debates. Third, the series seeks manuscripts that challenge the conventional wisdom about how bureaucracies influence public policy or the role of public administration in governance.

I am very pleased to include in the M.E. Sharpe series Sally Coleman Selden's The Promise of Representative Bureaucracy. A past winner of the Leonard White award for the best dissertation in public administration, The Promise of Representative Bureaucracy shows how first-class research in public administration should be done. It is a rigorous empirical study that breaks new ground theoretically. At the same time it has practical implications for the day-to-day operation of bureaucracies. The Promise of Representative Bureaucracy should be read by every graduate student in public administration as a blueprint for the process of research in public administration.

Many scholars have proposed that representative bureaucracy is a way to reconcile the need for bureaucracy with the demands of a democratic state. Representative bureaucracy is a theory that suggests bu-

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