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Political Influence on the Bureaucracy: The Bureaucracy Speaks

Scott R. Furlong
Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory: J-PART
Vol. 8, No. 1 (Jan., 1998), pp. 39-65
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1181755
Page Count: 27
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Political Influence on the Bureaucracy: The Bureaucracy Speaks
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Abstract

This study addresses the question of political influence on the bureaucracy from the perspective of agency officials who are being pressured. The article presents the results of a survey sent to senior federal government officials concerning the relative impact of policy-making institutions on bureaucratic policy making. The survey differentiated between the types of mechanisms used to influence bureaucratic policy. The results suggest that the perceptions of managers within the bureaucracy correspond to many of the conclusions presented in the top-down studies of political influence. The bureaucracy appears to serve many masters, all of whom have some influence on policy making. In addition, exploratory analyses comparing managers in independent regulatory commissions with those in executive agencies suggest some important differences. The study provides an unique understanding of policy making within the bureaucracy and determines whether or not these officials can be influenced by other institutions of government.

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