Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  • Explore the importance of bureaucracy in American government and understand the tensions between bureaucratic power and democratic ideals.
  • Discuss how Weber’s model reflects the development of modern bureaucracy and describe the features that distinguish the U.S. federal bureaucracy from other public bureaucracies around the world.
  • Examine the growth of federal bureaucratic power in the United States.
  • Identify the numerous organizational structures that make up the federal bureaucracy and describe the unique role that each one plays.
  • Analyze the factors that determine the true size of the U.S. federal bureaucracy.
  • Understand the means by which the public holds government administrators and their actions accountable.