In the Web of Politics: Three Decades of the U.S. Federal Executive

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9780815700616: In the Web of Politics: Three Decades of the U.S. Federal Executive

Most people think of governmental bureaucracy as a dull subject. Yet for thirty years the American federal executive has been awash in political controversy. From George Wallace's attacks on "pointy headed bureaucrats," to Richard Nixon's "responsiveness program," to the efforts of Al Gore and Bill Clinton to "reinvent government," the people who administer the American state have stood uncomfortably in the spotlight, caught in a web of politics. This book covers the turmoil and controversy swirling around the bureaucracy since 1970, when the Nixon administration tried to tighten its control over the executive branch. Drawing on interviews conducted over the past three decades, Joel D. Aberbach and Bert A. Rockman cast light on the complex relationship between top civil servants and political leaders and debunk much of the received wisdom about the deterioration and unresponsiveness of the federal civil service. The authors focus on three major themes:the "quiet crisis" of American administration, a hypothesized decline in the quality and morale of federal executives; the "noisy crisis," which refers to the large question of bureaucrats' responsiveness to political authority; and the movement to "reinvent" American government. Aberbach and Rockman examine the sources and validity of these themes and consider changes that might make the federal government's administration work better. They find that the quality and morale of federal executives have held up remarkably well in the face of intense criticism, and that the bureaucracy has responded to changes in presidential administrations. Pointing out that bureaucrats are convenient targets in contemporary political battles, the authors contend that complexity, contradiction, and bloated or inefficient programs are primarily the product of elected politicians, not bureaucrats.The evidence suggests that American federal executives will carry out the political will if they are given adequate support and realistic policies. However, In the Web of Politics argues that the federal executive will continue to be caught in a web of political controversy unless elected leaders reach agreement on what they want done and how they want policy carried out.

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About the Author:

Joel D. Aberbach, former senior fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings, is professor of political science and director of the Center for American Politics and Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. Bert A. Rockman is professor and head of the department of political science at Purdue University.

Review:

"A decade ago, the National Commission on the Public Service, headed by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul A. Volcker, found a quiet crisis in the career ranks and worried that the government was no longer able to compete for the nation's best and br" —Stephen Barr, Washington Post, 9/3/2000



"A work whose strengths should make it a classic in the executive politics and public administration literatures.... should be required reading for scholars of and practitioners in the higher civil service." —Robert Maranto, Villanova, Presidential Studies Quarterly, 4/19/2001



"Throughout, the authors reflections on continuities and changes in the U.S. (domestic) executive are nuanced, insightful, and firmly anchored empirically. Aderbach and Rockman make a persuasive case that reformers' persistent focus on 'management improvement' is likely to have 'at best marginal effects' on executive branch capacity." —Karen M. Hult, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, The American Political Science Review, 12/1/2001



"For scholars and practitioners... 'In the Web of Politics' is essential reading." —Steven J. Balla, George Washington University, The Journal of Politics, 11/1/2001



"This book succeeds brilliantly. It presents important findings that challenge conventional wisdoms about the federal executive; and the pages are replete with insight into the confounding effects of politics on organizational behavior." —William G. Howell, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Congress & the Presidency, 10/1/2001



"The excellence of Aderbach and Rockman's book lies in the research question's specification, in the quality of its data, and in the authors' intelligently careful analysis of those data.... the authors' interest in comparative bureaucratic reform substantially widens the book's appeal. (book recieved ***** rating)" —Nigel Bowles, Oxford University, Political Studies, 3/1/2002



"The book goes a long way in explaining why... the bureaucracy is still seen in the same light it has been. I would highly recommend this book." —Joseph L. Wert, Indiana University Southeast, Public Administration Review, 7/1/2001



"This is a wise book by two recognized scholars. It is well written, well argued, and well documented with sound empirical data." —Stephen J. Wayne, Georgetown University, Political Science Quarterly, 4/1/2001



"'In the Web of Politics' provides a detailed analysis of the role of the federal executive in the 'modern' bureaucracy. Aderbach and Rockman make a convincing argument that the problem with bureaucracy is not with those people who are considered the bureaucrats." —Valerie D. Glenn, University Library, Samford University, Journal of Government Information, 28: 2001



"In the Web of Politics: Three Decades of the U.S. Federal Executive' takes a hard look at the federal executive, providing fresh evidence on who works within the bureaucracy and how well they represent the interests of their superiors. Drawing upon extensive interviews of political executives and career civil servants conducted in three separate decades, Joel Aberbach and Bert Rockman issue a sort of 'State of the Bureaucracy.' And if they are right, much of it is salutary." —William Howell, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Congress and the Presidency



"A tour de force in comparative analysis....This remarkable book reports their findings from interviews with federal executives over the period between 1970 and 1992....This is an excellent book and one that makes a substantial contribution to the literture. Aberbach and Rockman present both their own data and other research to thoughtfully consider---and, in the end, generally refute--many broadly accepted nostrums related to bureaucratic politics and the state of the higher civil service in the United States." —Patricia W. Ingraham, Syracuse University, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 12/1/2003

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Book Description BROOKINGS INSTITUTION, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. 227 x 150 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Most people think of governmental bureaucracy as a dull subject. Yet for thirty years the American federal executive has been awash in political controversy. From George Wallace s attacks on pointy headed bureaucrats, to Richard Nixon s responsiveness program, to the efforts of Al Gore and Bill Clinton to reinvent government, the people who administer the American state have stood uncomfortably in the spotlight, caught in a web of politics. This book covers the turmoil and controversy swirling around the bureaucracy since 1970, when the Nixon administration tried to tighten its control over the executive branch. Drawing on interviews conducted over the past three decades, Joel D. Aberbach and Bert A. Rockman cast light on the complex relationship between top civil servants and political leaders and debunk much of the received wisdom about the deterioration and unresponsiveness of the federal civil service.The authors focus on three major themes:the quiet crisis of American administration, a hypothesized decline in the quality and morale of federal executives; the noisy crisis, which refers to the large question of bureaucrats responsiveness to political authority; and the movement to reinvent American government. Aberbach and Rockman examine the sources and validity of these themes and consider changes that might make the federal government s administration work better. They find that the quality and morale of federal executives have held up remarkably well in the face of intense criticism, and that the bureaucracy has responded to changes in presidential administrations. Pointing out that bureaucrats are convenient targets in contemporary political battles, the authors contend that complexity, contradiction, and bloated or inefficient programs are primarily the product of elected politicians, not bureaucrats.The evidence suggests that American federal executives will carry out the political will if they are given adequate support and realistic policies.However, In the Web of Politics argues that the federal executive will continue to be caught in a web of political controversy unless elected leaders reach agreement on what they want done and how they want policy carried out. Bookseller Inventory # BZE9780815700616

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Book Description BROOKINGS INSTITUTION, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. 227 x 150 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Most people think of governmental bureaucracy as a dull subject. Yet for thirty years the American federal executive has been awash in political controversy. From George Wallace s attacks on pointy headed bureaucrats, to Richard Nixon s responsiveness program, to the efforts of Al Gore and Bill Clinton to reinvent government, the people who administer the American state have stood uncomfortably in the spotlight, caught in a web of politics. This book covers the turmoil and controversy swirling around the bureaucracy since 1970, when the Nixon administration tried to tighten its control over the executive branch. Drawing on interviews conducted over the past three decades, Joel D. Aberbach and Bert A. Rockman cast light on the complex relationship between top civil servants and political leaders and debunk much of the received wisdom about the deterioration and unresponsiveness of the federal civil service.The authors focus on three major themes:the quiet crisis of American administration, a hypothesized decline in the quality and morale of federal executives; the noisy crisis, which refers to the large question of bureaucrats responsiveness to political authority; and the movement to reinvent American government. Aberbach and Rockman examine the sources and validity of these themes and consider changes that might make the federal government s administration work better. They find that the quality and morale of federal executives have held up remarkably well in the face of intense criticism, and that the bureaucracy has responded to changes in presidential administrations. Pointing out that bureaucrats are convenient targets in contemporary political battles, the authors contend that complexity, contradiction, and bloated or inefficient programs are primarily the product of elected politicians, not bureaucrats.The evidence suggests that American federal executives will carry out the political will if they are given adequate support and realistic policies.However, In the Web of Politics argues that the federal executive will continue to be caught in a web of political controversy unless elected leaders reach agreement on what they want done and how they want policy carried out. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780815700616

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Book Description BROOKINGS INSTITUTION, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. 227 x 150 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Most people think of governmental bureaucracy as a dull subject. Yet for thirty years the American federal executive has been awash in political controversy. From George Wallace s attacks on pointy headed bureaucrats, to Richard Nixon s responsiveness program, to the efforts of Al Gore and Bill Clinton to reinvent government, the people who administer the American state have stood uncomfortably in the spotlight, caught in a web of politics. This book covers the turmoil and controversy swirling around the bureaucracy since 1970, when the Nixon administration tried to tighten its control over the executive branch. Drawing on interviews conducted over the past three decades, Joel D. Aberbach and Bert A. Rockman cast light on the complex relationship between top civil servants and political leaders and debunk much of the received wisdom about the deterioration and unresponsiveness of the federal civil service.The authors focus on three major themes:the quiet crisis of American administration, a hypothesized decline in the quality and morale of federal executives; the noisy crisis, which refers to the large question of bureaucrats responsiveness to political authority; and the movement to reinvent American government. Aberbach and Rockman examine the sources and validity of these themes and consider changes that might make the federal government s administration work better. They find that the quality and morale of federal executives have held up remarkably well in the face of intense criticism, and that the bureaucracy has responded to changes in presidential administrations. Pointing out that bureaucrats are convenient targets in contemporary political battles, the authors contend that complexity, contradiction, and bloated or inefficient programs are primarily the product of elected politicians, not bureaucrats.The evidence suggests that American federal executives will carry out the political will if they are given adequate support and realistic policies.However, In the Web of Politics argues that the federal executive will continue to be caught in a web of political controversy unless elected leaders reach agreement on what they want done and how they want policy carried out. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780815700616

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Book Description Brookings Institution Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 242 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 5.9in. x 0.6in.Most people think of governmental bureaucracy as a dull subject. Yet for thirty years the American federal executive has been awash in political controversy. From George Wallaces attacks on pointy headed bureaucrats, to Richard Nixons responsiveness program, to the efforts of Al Gore and Bill Clinton to reinvent government, the people who administer the American state have stood uncomfortably in the spotlight, caught in a web of politics. This book covers the turmoil and controversy swirling around the bureaucracy since 1970, when the Nixon administration tried to tighten its control over the executive branch. Drawing on interviews conducted over the past three decades, Joel D. Aberbach and Bert A. Rockman cast light on the complex relationship between top civil servants and political leaders and debunk much of the received wisdom about the deterioration and unresponsiveness of the federal civil service. The authors focus on three major themes: the quiet crisis of American administration, a hypothesized decline in the quality and morale of federal executives; the noisy crisis, which refers to the large question of bureaucrats responsiveness to political authority; and the movement to reinvent American government. Aberbach and Rockman examine the sources and validity of these themes and consider changes that might make the federal governments administration work better. They find that the quality and morale of federal executives have held up remarkably well in the face of intense criticism, and that the bureaucracy has responded to changes in presidential administrations. Pointing out that bureaucrats are convenient targets in contemporary political battles, the authors contend that complexity, contradiction, and bloated or inefficient programs are primarily the product of elected politicians, not bureaucrats. The evidence suggests that American federal executives will carry out the political will if they are given adequate support and realistic policies. However, In the Web of Politics argues that the federal executive will continue to be caught in a web of political controversy unless elected leaders reach agreement on what they want done and how they want policy carried out. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780815700616

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