Chapter Summary

Bureaucracies are important. They do stuff. We want them to follow the rules so that we all know pretty much what they are going to do. Yes, they can be infuriating. Learn to live with it. The alternative is worse. People have fretted about how to enforce democratic control over bureaucracies. Overhead democracy didn’t seem to fit with what was happening. Agency theory, in which bureaucracies are treated like subcontractors, seems to explain more. Comparing bureaucracies to cockroaches has three benefits: it is philosophically appealing, it lets me totally justify talking about myself so much, and it explains how bureaucracies monitor their environments and adapt to public demands.